PRITI Patel’s “hatred” of Julian Assange is behind the decision to extradite him to the US, it was claimed today (SAT).
Richard Hillgrove, the former spokesman for the Wikileaks founder, said the Home Secretary had questions to answer over her handling of the affair.
Mr Hillgrove, who managed Assange’s communications when his access to the Internet was cut off while holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, told GB News: “His life is in danger and he shouldn’t be extradited. Three hundred doctors have written letters saying he is a suicide risk. And we also know he has been under surveillance too which puts him at a seperate risk. I think this is a political situation. What was good enough for Gary Mackinnon in the case which Therase May ruled on should be good enough for Priti Patel. However her personal animosity is driving this. She hates the man and I think that’s what’s behind this decision to get him out there.”
The comments come a day after it was formally announced the Wikileaks founder’s extradition to the US had been approved by the Home Secretary.
The Home Office says Mr Assange has 14 days to appeal over the decision.
In a statement released yesterday the Home Office said the courts found extradition would not be “incompatible with his human rights” and that while in the US “he will be treated appropriately”.
Mr Assange is wanted by the American authorities over documents leaked in 2010 and 2011, which the US says broke the law and endangered lives.
The Wikileaks documents related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The Australian is being held at Belmarsh prison in London after mounting a lengthy battle to avoid being extradited.
Extradition allows one country to ask another to hand over a suspect to face trial.
Responding to the home secretary’s order, Wikileaks confirmed it would appeal against her decision.
Mr Assange’s wife, Stella, said her husband had done “nothing wrong” and “he has committed no crime”.
“He is a journalist and a publisher, and he is being punished for doing his job,” she said.
In a press conference outside the British Embassy in New York, his brother Gabriel Shipton said they would take his appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if not successful in the UK’s High Court.