The UK court is set to hear the bail plea of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as his lawyers brace up to argue for him to be released from a British prison on bail, pending the US’s appeal against a decision not to extradite him.
This comes a day after on Monday a court in London ruled that Assange cannot be extradited to the United States to face espionage charges against him.
Led by UK district judge Vanessa Baraitser, the court ruled that the extradition threatens Assange’s human right as he risks “a grossly disproportionate sentence” and detention in “draconian and inhumane conditions”.
This could further deteriorate the accused’s mental health “causing him to commit suicide”, the court observed.
The 49-year-old currently faces 17 espionage charges and one of computer misuse. The charges he faces are for publishing hundreds of thousands of secret American military documents online.
If convicted under these charges, Assange will face up to 175 years in jail.
The Australian-origin man has remained in the high-security Belmarsh prison in southeast London.
In a previous hearing held in March Assange sought bail as he was susceptible to Covid-19, but the case was rejected on the ground that he would abscond.
The ruling was not welcomed by the US, who termed it “very disappointing” and asserted it would appeal again.