UPDATED: UK judge rules WikiLeaks’ Assange should not be extradited to United States

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A British judge ruled on Monday that WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States to face charges of breaking a spying law and conspiring to hack government computers.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser said she had refused his extradition to the United States because of fears that he could commit suicide.

A prison van arrives outside the trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Old Bailey in London, Britain, 04 January 2021. EPA-EFE/VICKIE FLORES

The Australian activist, 49, faced an 18-count indictment alleging a plot to hack computers and a conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information.

He was re-arrested in September over new charges contained in a US indictment.

It alleges that he conspired with army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a scrambled password, known as “hash”, to a classified US defence department computer.

The charges also offer further details of alleged hacking plotters that Assange and his WikiLeaks colleagues are said to have recruited.

Assange denies plotting with Manning to crack an encrypted password on US Department of Defence computers and claims there is no evidence anyone’s safety was put at risk.

Main Photo: A supporter of Julian Assange stands outside the Old Bailey court in central London, Britain, 04 January 2021. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA

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