Wikileaks founder Julian Assange denied bail post citing 'high coronavirus risk'

WION Web Team London, United Kingdom Mar 26, 2020, 10.52 AM(IST)

File photo of Julian Assange. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Assange was denied bail after arguing that his release from a UK prison would mitigate his ''high risk'' of catching coronavirus.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been denied bail after his lawyers tried to get him out from behind bars because of the increasing risk of coronavirus.

Assange was denied bail after arguing that his release from a UK prison would mitigate his ''high risk'' of catching coronavirus.

Also read: Wikileaks founder Assange's lawyers to apply for bail, citing coronavirus risk

British district Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that Assange had absconded before and said that Belmarsh prison is following government guidelines to protect detainees with no confirmed virus cases there yet.

Also read: Julian Assange's UK extradition hearing paused until May

“As matters stand today this global pandemic does not, of itself, yet provide grounds for Mr Assange’s release,” Judge Baraitser said.

She also expressed concern that was based on Assange’s past conduct, there are ''substantial grounds'' to believe that if released he would not return to face his extradition hearing.

The Australian citizen's US extradition trial began in February after a US grand jury indicted Assange on 18 charges - 17 of which fall under the Espionage Act.

These included conspiracy to receive, obtain and disclose classified diplomatic and military documents.