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10 Dec, 2021 13:29

UK wants to give Assange to people who ‘contemplated killing’ him – WikiLeaks editor-in-chief to RT

UK wants to give Assange to people who ‘contemplated killing’ him – WikiLeaks editor-in-chief to RT

It’s “shameful in every respect” that the UK wants to extradite Julian Assange to the US, the nation where top officials had purported plans to snatch or even assassinate him, the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks told RT.

“We are dealing here with a nation where individuals on the top level … at the CIA and the White House, contemplated kidnapping or killing Julian Assange,” Kristinn Hrafnsson said, referring to a Yahoo News report detailing the CIA’s hunt after Assange under then-Director Mike Pompeo.

The High Court in London just came to a decision – on UN Human Rights Day – that it is OK to extradite an individual to a country which contemplated killing that individual. That is shameful in every respect.

Hrafnsson spoke to RT after a ruling of the UK’s High Court overturned a January refusal to extradite Assange to the US issued by a magistrates’ court. The new decision said the judge should have informed the US before making a ruling about her concerns that Assange could be subjected to abusive conditions in a US prison.

During the appeal hearings, lawyers representing the US government offered diplomatic assurances to the contrary – though supporters of Assange say the words of the Americans should not be trusted.

“Those assurances are not worth the paper they are written on,” Hrafnsson said.

If the magistrates’ court now reverses its earlier decision, Assange’s defense team will file an appeal, the WikiLeaks representative said. It may take months more before it is decided whether the publisher will be sent to the US to stand trial on espionage charges, which carry a maximum sentence of 175 years.

READ MORE: Julian Assange’s extradition battle: What you need to know

Considering the years that Assange spent under surveillance and restriction of movement, including more than two years in the top-security Belmarsh Prison, his friends and family are worried for his health, and he should be released, Hrafnsson said.

“I will keep my hopes realistic, but this is the right thing to do. He should be out on bail. He should be with his family, with Stella [Moris] and their two boys, celebrating Christmas with them.”

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