Assange extradition: US allowed to challenge key psychiatric evidence in bid to reverse UK refusal to hand him over

Wednesday - 11/08/2021 12:53
The High Court in London has allowed the US to challenge a psychiatric evaluation of Julian Assange, which was key in an earlier court ruling refusing Washington’s request to extradite him for trial.

Wednesday’s appeal proceeding is the latest development in the continuing effort by the US to extradite Assange to stand trial on American soil for alleged computer-related crimes.

A British judge refused the request in January on humanitarian grounds, ruling that there was a high risk of Assange taking his own life if she agreed to his extradition. Testimonies by psychiatrist Michael Kopelman about the poor state of the Australian’s mental health were crucial in the case.

Clair Dobbin, who represents the US side, argued that the professor had misled the court and that his opinion about Assange’s state of mind should have been dismissed by Judge Vanessa Baraitser.The US was allowed to challenge the ruling of the District Court on three points and wanted to pursue two further arguments. One of their extra lines of attack, which was granted by Lord Justice Tim Holroyde, was to seek the dismissal of Kopelman’s testimonies, due to the fact that he initially concealed Assange’s relationship with Stella Moris and the fact that they had two children together.

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 Keywords: Wikileaks

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