Assange Fled Before, U.S. Lawyers Remind Judge in Bail Fight
(Bloomberg) -- Julian Assange’s past efforts to evade an arrest warrant were seized on by U.S. lawyers who urged a London judge to block a request for bail by the WikiLeaks founder.
Clair Dobbin reminded the court that Assange spent seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy rather than face questioning in a sexual assault probe and that countries, including Mexico, have already offered him asylum rather than allow him to face U.S. espionage charges.
“There are no conditions that can guarantee his surrender,” Dobbin said. “The history of his attempts to evade extradition to the U.S. shows he is capable of going to any length.”
The 49-year-old Assange is seeking bail two days after Judge Vanessa Baraitser refused to extradite him to the U.S., citing his mental health and a risk of suicide. Assange faces espionage charges over WikiLeaks’ release a decade ago of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents linked to military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But Assange’s lawyers said that Baraitser’s ruling “changes everything.”
“The grounds for refusing to bail in the past no longer applies,” Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, told the court. “The natural and logical consequence of that ruling would be that he regains his liberty, at least conditionally. That’s every cannon of English law over the centuries.”
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