A judge from the UK has ruled against extraditing Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, to the US in response to his legal team by arguing that he would have a “high risk of serious depression leading to suicide.”
It has been reported that users have donated a sizable amount of Bitcoin (BTC) toward the legal defense of WikiLeaks and Assange in the last week.
🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 A donation of 8.48 BTC (281,195 USD) was made to WikiLeaks Donation Wallet! Project: https://t.co/mcVJfZjaf0 Tx: https://t.co/5ZLPFxt4KP — Whale Alert (@whale_alert) January 4, 2021
However, on Sunday, someone sent 8.48 BTC, around $280,000 at the time, to support Assange, while another crypto user donated 4.51 BTC last Wednesday, a transaction worth $125,000.
🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 A donation of 4.51 BTC (125,100 USD) was made to WikiLeaks Donation Wallet! Project: https://t.co/mcVJfZjaf0 Tx: https://t.co/Mu5Y0npprk — Whale Alert (@whale_alert) December 30, 2020
The report said that the funds are coming while his legal status in the United Kingdom remains uncertain. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that the WikiLeaks founder will not be extradited to the United States, as he is in a UK prison but could face charges of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 related to documents provided by intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning if extradited to the United States.
As per the sources, the judge’s ruling seemed to agree with Assange’s legal team’s argument that the founder has experienced a “deterioration in his mental health” due to the impending charges.
Lawyers claimed that any extradition to the US would put him at a “high risk of serious depression leading to suicide.”
Moreover, in response to the ruling, Lopez Obrador, the President of Mexico Andres Manuel, said that he is willing to offer Assange asylum.
According to a Reuters report, Lopez Obrador is in favor of pardoning the WikiLeaks founder, referring to him as a journalist in need of protection.
The president said:
“I’m going to ask the Foreign Minister […] to ask the government of the United Kingdom about the possibility of letting Mr. Assange be freed and for Mexico to offer political asylum.”
Before the judge’s decision was made public, some high-profile crypto users had been voicing their support of Assange, even pushing Trump to grant Assange a federal pardon before he leaves office on January 20.
Thus, Adam Back, the CEO of Blockstream, said:
“Julian is a journalist. Fact. Inconvenient exposure for malfeasance. It’s like countries where journalists are disappeared, but the two faced western variant, from establishment that does not represent the public will, and is a rogue self-interested tactical war machine.”