LONDON, Mar 25 (Reuters) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is fighting his extradition from the United Kingdom to the United States, saw his request for provisional release denied on Wednesday, after his lawyers argued he should be released. from jail for the coronavirus outbreak.
Assange, 48, is wanted by the United States on 18 criminal charges ranging from conspiracy to hack government computers to violation of an espionage law, crimes for which he could spend decades in prison.
“As things stand today, this global pandemic alone does not provide arguments for the release of Mr. Assange,” said Judge Vanessa Baraitser of the Westminster Magistrates Court.
As indicated, Assange’s previous conduct shows how far he is willing to go to avoid an extradition process, while indicating that there are substantial reasons to believe that if released he would hide again.
His words made reference to the fact that Assange violated probation and escaped to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he was wanted for alleged sexual crimes. These allegations are no longer in effect today.
Assange remained inside the diplomatic legation for seven years. He was eventually removed from the embassy after Ecuador revoked his asylum.
He is currently incarcerated in Belmarsh Prison, London.
(Report by Michael Holden; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)