Jeremy Corbyn says Julian Assange should be ‘hailed for telling the truth’ and demands he is ‘not sent to US and released from jail’ ahead of second day of his High Court extradition hearing
- The former Labour leader said the WikiLeaks founder had ‘committed no crime’
- Mr Corbyn also clamed Assange could ‘take his own life’ if he is extradited to US
- The MP called for him to be released from Belmarsh prison in south east London
- It comes on second day of arguments in US government’s High Court challenge
Jeremy Corbyn has claimed Julian Assange should be ‘hailed’ as a truthteller and released from prison ahead of the second day of a High Court hearing.
The former Labour leader said the WikiLeaks founder ‘committed no crime’ and could ‘take his own life’ if he is extradited.
The MP also called for him to be released from Belmarsh prison in south east London ‘so he can continue his life with his partner and his children’.
His comments came on the second day of legal arguments in the US government’s High Court challenge over a judge’s decision not to extradite Assange.
The Wikileaks founder did not join the hearing on Thursday via videolink from Belmarsh prison where he is being held.
A small crowd of people again gathered outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London in a show of support for Assange ahead of the hearing.
The former Labour leader (pictured today) said the WikiLeaks founder ‘committed no crime’ and could ‘take his own life’ if he is extradited
The MP also called for him to be released from Belmarsh prison in south east London (pictured, a court sketch yesterday) ‘so he can continue his life with his partner and his children’
Supporters of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London today
Among them was Mr Corbyn, who said: ‘He’s (Assange) committed no crime, and he’s in a maximum security prison.
‘If he moved to the United States, he may well, because of his mental health condition, take his own life.
‘That is what we have done to this person who told us the truth, the truth about Afghanistan, the truth about Iraq, the truth about surveillance and revealed the incredible levels of secret power held by the United States and indeed many other Government around the world.
‘In a different country he would be hailed as a whistleblower who told the truth about the dangers we are all facing, the dangers the whole world is facing.
‘I think we should bear witness to Julian’s bravery and his determination and demand two things: one that he’s not removed under any circumstances to the United States, and secondly that he be released from Belmarsh so he can continue his life with his partner, with his children.’
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves after a brief appearance outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London today
Stella Moris (right), partner of Assange, and WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson (left) arrive at the court today
John Shipton, father of incarcerated WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, arrives to the Royal Courts of Justice in London today
Assange supporters gather outside the High Court in London for the second day of the hearing on Thursday
The two-day High Court proceedings before the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and Lord Justice Holroyde is due to end today with a decision expected at a later date.
Assange, 50, is wanted in the US on allegations of a conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
After a multi-week extradition hearing, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled in January that Assange should not be sent to the US, citing a real risk of suicide.
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