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U.S. Assures No Death Penalty for Julian Assange If He's Extradited

U.S. Assures No Death Penalty for Julian Assange If He's Extradited

Apr 17, 2024

U.S. Assures No Death Penalty for Julian Assange If He's Extradited

The United States has complied with the High Court in London's request for assurances in the ongoing extradition case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. These assurances state that Assange can invoke First Amendment rights during his defense, will not be discriminated against due to his Australian citizenship, and will not face new charges that could lead to the death penalty.

According to the assurances, Assange, if extradited, "will have the ability to raise and seek to rely upon at trial the rights and protections given under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States." However, the document clarifies that the "applicability of the First Amendment is exclusively within the purview of the U.S. courts." It also confirms that "a sentence of death will neither be sought nor imposed."

This development potentially addresses the one possible ground for appeal Assange had, with the deadline for these guarantees being April 16. The Court is now expected to rule in favor of the U.S. Justice Department.

Mr. Assange's wife, Stella Assange, criticized the assurances, calling them "blatant weasel words." In a statement, she expressed the family's distress over Assange's potential future, fearing a lifetime of isolation in a U.S. prison.

In a related development, President Joe Biden indicated last week that the administration is "considering" a request from the Australian government to drop the prosecution, and there are reports of discussions about a potential plea deal.

A further court hearing in London is set for May 20, where Assange's lawyers are likely to challenge the credibility of U.S. assurances.

In 2021, a British judge ruled against Assange's extradition, citing the harsh conditions of the U.S. prison system, Assange's mental health, and the risk of suicide. Although the U.S. has assured that the death penalty is off the table, concerns about inhumane treatment persist in the British legal system.

The diplomatic note sent to British officials aimed to alleviate fears about what may happen to Assange in the U.S., yet it remains to be seen how this will impact the court's decision.

The Epoch Times Article

Gizmodo Article


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