9 votes

Julian Assange extradition judgement

1 comment

  1. Moonchild
    The extradition was blocked, but apparently only on the grounds that Assange would be subject to inhumane conditions in the US if extradited. From pages 116-118: An interesting comment from...

    The extradition was blocked, but apparently only on the grounds that Assange would be subject to inhumane conditions in the US if extradited. From pages 116-118:

    I am satisfied that, if he is subjected to the extreme conditions of SAMs [Special administrative measures], Mr. Assange’s mental health will deteriorate to the point where he will commit suicide with the “single minded determination” described by Dr. Deeley.

    First, Professor Kopelman offers the firm opinion that he is as confident as a psychiatrist can ever be that Mr. Assange will find a way to commit suicide. This opinion is based on a clinical evaluation following hours of clinical assessment with Mr. Assange, and a detailed knowledge of his history and circumstances.

    Secondly, though it is by no means certain that SAMs will be imposed on Mr. Assange, and, if it is, there are a range of measures the authorities can consider, nevertheless, for reasons already given, it is my judgment that there is a real risk that he will be kept in the near isolated conditions imposed by the harshest SAMs regime, both pre-trial and post-trial.

    Thirdly, many of the protective factors currently in place at HMP Belmarsh would be removed by these conditions. Mr. Assange’s health improved on being removed from relative isolation in healthcare. He has been able to access the support of family and friends. He has had access to a Samaritans phoneline. He has benefited from a trusting relationship with the prison In-Reach psychologist. By contrast, a SAMs regime would severely restrict his contact with all other human beings, including other prisoners, staff and his family. In detention subject to SAMs,he would have absolutely no communication with other prisoners, even through the walls of his cell, and time out of his cell would be spent alone


    Dr. Leukefeld has set out measures which could be taken to prevent suicide including suicide risk assessment, staff training to identify suicide risk and suicide watch. However, Mr. Assange undoubtedly has the intellect to circumvent these suicide preventative measures; in order to avoid suicide watch or increased isolation at HMP Belmarsh, he has already adopted a strategy of disguising his suicidal thoughts


    I have no doubt that Mr. Assange has the “determination, planning and intelligence” (also ascribed to Mr. Love in Lauri Love v United States of America (above)). Dr. Deeley described his intense focus and the rigidity and inflexibility of his thoughts, which characterise his autistic spectrum disorder, which in his opinion will increase this determination. As Professor Kopelman put it, Mr. Assange will not only find a way to suicide but it will be executed “with the single-minded determination of his ASD/Asperger’s”. He has already made suicidal plans which Professor Kopelman considered to be “highly plausible” and taken steps to plan for his death including by preparing a Will and requesting absolution from the Catholic priest who attends the prison

    An interesting comment from hackernews:

    Baraitser sided with US prosecutors on pretty much all of their arguments. It was the barbaric nature of the US penal system that saved Assange.

    Another interpretation is, the judge tried as much as s/he could to prevent extradition while "saving face" (either preventing a political conflict, or even saving themselves from assassination!)

    5 votes