04:53 GMT27 October 2020
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    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange case (87)
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    LONDON (Sputnik) – The UK judge presiding over the extradition hearing of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States announced on Thursday that her ruling will come on 4 January 2021, at 10:00 BST (9:00 GMT).

    Before adjourning the court, Judge Vanessa Baraitser also said that Assange will remain in custody at the Belmarsh maximum security prison, in east London, until the judgment is announced.

    The court heard from psychiatrists and mental health experts that Assange is at a high risk of suicide if extradited to the US, where according to witnesses he will be held in solitary confinement and receive limited medical services even before being convicted by the US court.

    The defence also produced evidence that the whistleblower was spied on by the Spanish company in charge of the Ecuadorean embassy's security and the information passed to the US intelligence services.

    The UK judge gave Assange´s lawyers four weeks to submit closing arguments, then a further two weeks to the US prosecutors to reply and present their closing arguments, plus another 72 hours for the defence to reply.

    ​The US Department of Justice is seeking the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder on 17 espionage charges and one count of computer misuse, which carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison, for the publication of classified information on the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and thousands of US diplomatic cables between 2010 and 2011.

    The hearing to decide whether Assange should be sent to the United States resumed on 7 September at the London Central Criminal Court, after six months of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Assange, who has been locked up at the maximum-security prison of Belmarsh since his arrest at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in April, 2019, has been attending the trial from behind a glass panel, away from his defence team.

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    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange case (87)
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    ruling, court, extradition, Julian Assange arrest, Julian Assange, United Kingdom
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