London’s High Court has given US government on Wednesday more grounds to appeal against the District Court’s January decision that stopped Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to US on humanitarian grounds, BBC reports.
In the latest development of the continuing effort by the US to extradite Assange to stand trial on American soil, US side is now allowed to challenge Assange’s psychiatric evaluation the earlier court ruling refusing Washington’s request to extradite him for trial was based on.
January ruling pointed that that there was a high risk of Assange taking his own life if extradited to the US based on psychiatrist Michael Kopelman’s crucial testimonies by about the poor state of the Australian’s mental health.
The High Court now allows the US to seek the dismissal of Kopelman’s testimonies about Assange’s state of mind arguing that he had misled the court concealing initially Assange’s relationship with Stella Moris.
Assange representative Edward Fitzgerald says that the name of Moris and the fact that she has children with the Australian wasn’t mentioned due to Assange’s concern for his family safety.
The US has given again the UK assurances about Assange’s extradition at the High Court earlier, claiming he won’t be spending pre-trial period in a supermax prison ADX Florence in Colorado, that he won’t be subjected to the Special Administrative Measures, harshest prison conditions known in US law, and that if convicted, Assange will serve his sentence in Australia, where he is originally from.
Faced with an 18-count indictment from the US government, Assange can possible expect penalty of up to 175 years in jail, though the US government says the sentence is more likely to be between four and six years.
Meanwhile, he remains at Britain’s top-security Belmarsh prison, normally reserved for dangerous violent criminals, where he will stay at least up until October, when the hearing on the US appealis scheduled.