Julian Assange's Extradition to US Blocked Over Mental Health Concerns

A judge at the U.K.'s Central Criminal Court ruled Monday that there would be a "high risk" of suicide if Assange was sent to face charges in the U.S.

AccessTimeIconJan 4, 2021 at 3:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:51 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange cannot legally be extradited to the U.S., according to a ruling from the U.K.'s Central Criminal Court on Monday.

  • District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said Assange's poor mental health rules out sending him to face charges of espionage and the hacking of government computers under section 91(3) of the Extradition Act 2003.
  • Assange is wanted by U.S. authorities over the publication of classified documents between 2010 and 2011 relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • In the ruling, Judge Baraitser said Assange's mental condition is such that, if extradited to the U.S. and kept in isolated conditions, there is a "high risk" of suicide.
  • According to detailed psychiatric reports and assessments, Assange has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and has a history of mental health issues.
  • U.S. authorities have 14 days in which to appeal and are expected to do so. For now, Assange will remain in custody at Belmarsh Prison, according to The Guardian.
  • As previously reported by CoinDesk, Wikileaks started collecting donations in cryptocurrencies in 2017 after its access to traditional funding methods was cut by the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.