Julian Assange has had a stroke in prison due to the “constant chess game” over his future, his fiancee has claimed.
“He needs to be freed”
The WikiLeaks founder is said to have suffered a stroke at the time of a High Court battle over whether or not he should be extradited to the US. He’s being held at HMP Belmarsh, a high-security men’s prison in South-East London.
Stella Moris, who is the mother of his two children, tweeted:
BREAKING: Julian #Assange suffered a stroke on the first day of the High Court appeal hearing on October 27th.
— Stella Moris #FreeAssangeNOW (@StellaMoris1) December 11, 2021
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In an interview with the Mail On Sunday, she said:
Julian is struggling and I fear this mini-stroke could be the precursor to a more major attack. It compounds our fears about his ability to survive, the longer this long legal battle goes on.
It urgently needs to be resolved. Look at animals trapped in cages in a zoo. It cuts their life short. That’s what’s happening to Julian. The never-ending court cases are extremely stressful mentally.
I believe this constant chess game, battle after battle, the extreme stress, is what caused Julian’s stroke on October 27… he was in a truly terrible state. His eyes were out of sync, his right eyelid would not close, his memory was blurry.
Assange is wanted in America over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information, following WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
US authorities brought a High Court challenge against a January ruling by then-district judge Vanessa Baraitser. The ruling said that Assange shouldn’t be sent to the US because of a real and “oppressive” risk of suicide.
After a two-day hearing in October, the lord chief justice Ian Burnett, sitting with lord justice Timothy Holroyde, ruled in favour of the US on Friday 10 December. Moris said that his lawyers intend to take his case to the Supreme Court, the UK’s highest court. Justices will have to decide first whether to hear the case before any appeal is heard.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice told the PA news agency that it would not comment on individual cases.
Other areas of appeal
Writing for The Canary on 11 December, Tom coburg noted:
Lawyers representing Assange have issued a statement saying they will appeal to the Supreme Court… They add that “other important questions”, for example free speech and political motivation, are yet to be heard by the appeal court
Coburg pointed out:
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There may also be other grounds for appeal.
In June 2019, it was revealed that star prosecution witnesswas a convicted felon in relation to several offences, including paedophilia. In July 2021, it was further revealed by Stundin that Thordarson admitted he had lied to US authorities in exchange for a deal with the FBI.
Moreover, surveillance footage of Assange, while a guest of the Ecuadorian embassy, was allegedly passed to the CIA, breaching client-lawyer confidentiality.
There are also claims that the entire US case is political and therefore should be dismissed in accordance with provisions in the US-UK extradition treaty.
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