A British judge denied Julian Assange’s plea for bail on Wednesday, January 6. Judge Vanessa Baraitser rejected the bail request filed by Assange’s legal team on the grounds that he still has “incentive” to abscond. Assange will continue to remain in the high security prison in Belmarsh pending the appeal filed by the United States on his extradition. The same judge on Monday had rejected the appeal for his extradition to the United States.
The judge, on Wednesday, stated that Assange has “huge support networks” to help him go underground. The judge also cited WikiLeaks’ assistance to Edward Snowden as a factor in her decision.
In London, it won't be long before a bail application hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange starts. I'm attending remotely and will have updates in this thread.
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) January 6, 2021
The ruling stated that there are there were substantial grounds for believing that if Assange were released, he would fail to surrender to court and face the appeal proceedings.
In her decision on Monday, Baraitser had turned down the plea for extradition on the grounds of Assaange being a suicide risk, and the “severely restrictive” prison condition in the US. The defense argued that a bail for Assange was the logical conclusion of judge Baraitser’s decision on Monday to deny the plea for his extradition. They also highlighted the conditions in Belmarsh prison where there have been a number of COVID-19 outbreaks. However, the judge seemed to accept the prosecution’s claim that the situation in the prison was under control.
Baraitser’s bail verdict comes despite her previous stand that “prolonged” detention will continue to affect his mental health, which multiple medical practitioners have argued is happening inside Belmarsh itself.
Good morning. I’ll have updates on Julian Assange’s bail hearing on this thread today. The hearing takes place at 10 am GMT at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. @RSF_inter calls again for Assange’s immediate release.#FreeAssange 1/
— Rebecca Vincent (@rebecca_vincent) January 6, 2021
A number of legal experts, journalists and activists from across the world condemned the denial of bail to Julian Assange.
Process as punishment continues. https://t.co/KSabZSsK5C
— Renata Avila (@avilarenata) January 6, 2021
Courtesy: Peoples Dispatch