- Sputnik International, 1920, 10.12.2021
US Wins Appeal to Extradite Assange
The US has won an appeal in London's High Court to have Wikileaks founder Julian Assange extradited on spying charges. In January, UK district judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled against extraditing Assange to the US, but the US Department of Justice appealed her decision to the London High Court.

US Lawyer: If Extradited, Assange Would Face Show Trial

© AP Photo / Francisco SecoA man holds a photograph of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during a protest demanding the freedom of Assange in front of the UK embassy in Brussels, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020
A man holds a photograph of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during a protest demanding the freedom of Assange in front of the UK embassy in Brussels, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.12.2021
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On 10 December, a London court ruled in favour of the US' appeal to extradite Assange, dismissing concerns raised about the journalist's health and the inhumane conditions he could face in the American prison system.
Sputnik spoke to Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law and a human rights lawyer who was involved in the successful effort to stymie the US/UK Extradition Treaty in the US that the Biden Administration is using against Assange – he voiced concern about safety of the Wikileaks founder if he's extradited to the US, adding that the whistleblower is unlikely will face a fair trial.
Sputnik: With the verdict announced, will Assange be sent to the US after all? If so, how soon?
Francis Boyle: We don't know. His lawyers have indicated they're going to appeal to the British Supreme Court, and then if that appeal is denied, I certainly hope his lawyers have prepared emergency papers to file immediately in the European Court of Human Rights with a request for indication of provisional measures of protection to prevent his extradition. I’m not part of his team, but if I had been representing him, I would have those papers ready to go to file in the European Court of Human Rights immediately if and when the British Supreme Court denies the appeal.
The focus of the appeal of the European Court of Human Rights would be a violation of his basic human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, including a threat to his life if he is extradited to the United States. There's a very famous Soering Decision and also a threat to his mental health and well-being, and also that this would violate freedom of press, freedom of conscience and things of that nature, as set forth in the European Convention of Human Rights.
Sputnik: What kind of trial could Assange face in the US?
Francis Boyle: It would be a show trial and a railroad. There's no way he could ever get a fair trial here in the United States. I've been appearing in United States federal courts since 1982 on behalf of people like Assange opposing US government policies, war crimes, genocide, things of that nature. And since 1982, I can only think of one judge, one federal judge that gave my people a fair trial. So he's going to be railroaded.
This is a court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Julian Assange appearing at the Old Bailey in London for the ruling in his extradition case, in London, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. A British judge has rejected the United States’ request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges, saying it would be “oppressive” because of his mental health. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said Assange was likely to kill himself if sent to the U.S. The U.S. government said it would appeal the decision.  (Elizabeth Cook/PA via AP) - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.12.2021
US Wins Appeal to Extradite Assange
Ex-CIA Counterterrorism Officer Describes What Awaits Assange in the US
Sputnik: What will be the conditions of his possible confinement, given the concerns about his mental health?
Francis Boyle: We don't know the conditions of his possible confinement, because the United States has said they won't keep him in a Supermax, prior to the trial. I can't say what his conditions may or may not be. It didn't seem to me that they gave express guarantees, just that they would look out for his mental health. But Jeffrey Epstein was on a suicide watch and he was still suicided. I can't say I have any confidence in what these conditions might be here in the United States prior and during the trial.
Sputnik: What prison, in your view, will be chosen for him? Do you believe he will be allowed to serve out his sentence in Australia?
Francis Boyle: According to the accounts, the U.S. government has said after he is convicted, they are prepared to send him back to Australia for incarceration there. But there's no guarantee Australia is going to take him. Australia might not want to take him. That's a whole separate issue. The government of Australia has not supported Assange at all. So I'm not exactly sure why Australia would take him just because he is an Australian national. Australia just might say, well, you know, we're not interested in having him. So that assurance doesn't sound very reassuring to me.
Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden addresses attendees through video link at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019 - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.12.2021
Edward Snowden Calls Public, Media Furor Against Assange Dystopian
Sputnik: How safe, in your view, will Julian Assange be, if left to serve the sentence in the US? Do you believe his life will be out of danger?
Francis Boyle: My concern is that someone might suicide Assange just like they suicided Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein was clearly suicided because he knew too much, and that is my concern with Julian Assange – that he will be suicided, no matter what his mental condition might be.
It came out in the news media that the CIA was plotting to kidnap him or murder him. And the CIA has a long history of these so-called extraordinary renditions where they kidnap people, torture them and some of them were murdered. So it's beyond me how the British High Court could accept any assurances given to them by the United States. But of course, this is all political in Britain, and it certainly will be here in the United States. But remember, even the CIA was plotting to kidnap him or murder him. It's that simple. So there's no way that he should be extradited here. But I do hope that if his legal team can file those papers with the European Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights would pay serious attention to this matter.
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