LONDON: A court in London has blocked the extradition request of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the US, citing concerns over his "mental health and "risk of suicide". The 49-year-old is wanted over the publication of thousands of classified documents in 2010 and 2011.
The US claims the leaks broke the law and endangered lives. Assange had fought the extradition and says the case is politically motivated, the BBC reported. The US authorities have 14 days to lodge an appeal and are expected to do so. Assange will now be taken back to Belmarsh Prison, where he is being held and a full application for his bail will be made on Wednesday. His lawyer Ed Fitzgerald told the court there will be evidence to show Assange will not abscond.
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that while US prosecutors met the tests for Assange to be extradited for trial, the US was incapable of preventing him from attempting to take his own life. She outlined evidence of his self harm and suicidal thoughts and said: "The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man fearful for his future." (IANS)