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Russia Not Ruled Out as Eventual Shelter Country for Assange, WikiLeaks Editor Says

© SputnikAssange Rally at Old Bailey in London, UK
Assange Rally at Old Bailey in London, UK - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.10.2021
LONDON (Sputnik) – WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson told Sputnik on Monday that Russia had not been "ruled out" as a shelter country for Julian Assange in the event the UK High Court upholds a previous verdict from a London district judge against extraditing the Australian whistleblower to the United States.

"The options would be considered if and when it comes to that. Nothing is off the table", Hranfnsson told Sputnik ahead of a two-day appeal hearing due to start at the UK Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday.

He said many countries, some of them in Europe, could be considered "safe or relatively safe" for Assange to live in provided he is released from prison.
Hrafnsson noted, however, that the government of Australia had not shown any sign that they were fully supportive of their citizen.
Assange was arrested in London on 11 April 2019, and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail in 2012, when he took refuge inside the Ecuadorean embassy in the British capital to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was facing sexual assault charges that were later dropped by a Swedish court.
© Sputnik . ScreenshotJulian Assange in Serco transport vehicle 13 Jan 2020 No 3
Julian Assange in Serco transport vehicle 13 Jan 2020 No 3 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.10.2021
Julian Assange in Serco transport vehicle 13 Jan 2020 No 3
Back in January, UK district judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled against extraditing Assange to the US, citing health reasons and the risk of suicide in the US prison system. The judge, however, decided that he must wait in prison for the outcome of a US appeal hearing.
The WikiLeaks editor told a briefing with foreign correspondents in London that it would be "unthinkable" and "unacceptable" for the High Court to rule in favour of the United States.
According to Hrafnsson, Assange is expected to attend the hearing in person, but a decision is not expected for four to six weeks.
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