A judge in the United Kingdom refused to grant bail to WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeUK court allows US to expand Assange extradition appeal Mexico's domestic-minded foreign policy could alienate the US Poll: Democrats more likely to view Assange as having committed espionage MORE on Wednesday, calling him a flight risk.
Multiple news agencies reported that Assange was told by Judge Vanessa Baraitser that there were "substantial grounds" to believe that he would flee the country if bail was granted.
“I am satisfied that there are substantial grounds for believing that if Mr. Assange is released today he would fail to surrender to court to face the appeal proceedings,” the judge reportedly said, referring to efforts by U.S. officials to extradite Assange.
“As far as Mr. Assange is concerned this case has not yet been won ... the outcome of this appeal is not yet known," she added.
Earlier this week, Mexico's government publicly extended an offer of asylum to the controversial WikiLeaks creator, and his home country of Australia signaled that he would be welcomed home should extradition efforts fail.
Assange is currently battling extradition to the U.S., where he faces espionage charges related to the publication of hacked documents related to the Iraq War that identified wrongdoing by U.S. and coalition-allied forces. A British judge recently blocked his extradition on the grounds that Assange is a suicide risk, though prosecutors are appealing that decision.
He is being held in London after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he had been living, in 2019.