03/02/2020 - London Expert News: Forensic Psychiatrist says' Julian Assange Likely to Commit 'Suicide' if he is Deported to U.S.

The life of (Wikileaks founder) Julian Assange could be at risk if he is sent to face trial in the US, the first day of the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition hearing has been told.

Australian, Assange is wanted in the US to face 18 charges of attempted hacking and breaches of the Espionage Act. The charges are in regards to hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and files covering areas including US activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Australian, faces up to a 175-year prison sentence if found guilty.

Assange is accused of coworking with the former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak classified documents.

James Lewis QC, acting for US authorities, told the court: “The US is aware of sources whose unredacted names and other identifying information was contained in classified documents published by WikiLeaks, who subsequently disappeared, although the US can’t prove at this point that their disappearance was the result of being outed by WikiLeaks.”

The QC said: ssange had knowingly put human rights activists, journalists, dissidents and their families at risk of serious harm.

Assange replied to cheering supports, saying:

“I understand and am very appreciative of the public support. I do understand they must
be disgusted by these proceedings.”

Fitzgerald added that Prof Michael Kopelman, a distinguished forensic psychiatrist and expert witness for the defence, had said: “I am as confident as a psychiatrist can ever be that, if extradition to the United States were to become imminent, Mr Assange would find a way of suiciding.”

Earlier, Lewis said that journalism was not an excuse for breaking laws. He highlighted WikiLeaks had published its full archive of 251,000 secret US diplomatic cables, without redactions, potentially exposing thousands of individuals named in the documents to detention or harm.

Lawyers for Assange are challenging the extrodition by claiming: that it contravenes the UK-US treaty by being “politically motivated”.