Julian Assange ‘will not be held in supermax prison US assures Britain’

Julian Assange ‘will not be held in supermax prison US assures Britain’
Julian Assange will not be held in a “supermax” prison if he is extradited to the US, American authorities have reportedly told Britain.

Julian Assange will not be held in a “supermax” prison if he is extradited to the US, American authorities have reportedly told Britain.

The British High Court ruled that the US government could appeal an earlier ruling than rejected its demand to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the US, to face espionage and computer charges.

A lower court in January turned down the US request, with a judge saying she was concerned that if he were sent to the America, there was a very real possibility the 50-year-old whistleblower might take his own life.

Mr Assange’s lawyers had told the court last year that if he was sent to America he would likely be held in so-called “supermax” facility in Colorado, where he would spent most of his time confined to his cell, and having to confront harsh measures.

Maureen Baird, a former warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in New York, who was called by Mr Assange’s lawyers had said: “From my experience, of close to three decades of working in federal prisons, I would agree that long term isolation can have serious negative effects on an inmate’s mental health.”

Mr Assange could face a penalty of 175 years imprisonment if convicted of charges related to the US Espionage Act, as well as computer hacking.

On Wednesday, as the court in London granted the US permission to appeal the ruling, it was reported that the American authorities had given assurances to British officials that the Australian citizen would not be sent to a supermax facility if he was to be extradited.

The Wall Street Journal said the US had “given the UK a package of assurances that Mr Assange won’t be held at ADX, a maximum-security federal penitentiary in Colorado, or subject to extra security measures”. It quoted a statement from a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service.

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