Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has offered Wikileaks founder Julian Assange political asylum in his country. This move came a day after the UK court ruled out the possibility of his extradition to the US where he is to face charges of espionage.
“Assange is a journalist and deserves a chance,” said the Mexican President as he offered him protection. Addressing a press conference on January 4 (Monday), the President said he will ask the Foreign Affairs Ministry to contact British officials over the asylum offer and request that Assange is pardoned.
Lauding the UK court’s ruling, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said: “It is a triumph of justice. I commend England’s action because Assange is a journalist and deserves a chance.”
British judge denied the US extradition request of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
Yesterday we reported that the UK Court’s District Judge Vanessa Baraitser had turned down USA appeal to extradite the Wikileaks founder, citing concerns over his “mental health and “risk of suicide”. Now, the US side will again have to appeal for his extradition, which could lead to years more legal wrangling.
The Wikileaks founder has been in Belmarsh prison in the UK since April 2019, when he was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He had taken refuge in 2012 in the Embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that was subsequently dropped in November 2019.
He was indicted by US authorities on 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse related to the publication of secret US military documents that carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.