Time for U.S. to shut down Assange case - lawyer

The Judge's decision was welcomed by Assange's team, but the reasoning - centering on his mental health - was problematic, his lawyer said.

"This was not a win from a free speech point of view in terms of her findings on the criminalization of journalistic conduct and the application of the Official Secrets Act," Jennifer Robinson told Reuters.

U.S. authorities accuse Australian-born Assange, 49, of 18 counts relating to the release by WikiLeaks of vast troves of confidential U.S. military records and diplomatic cables which they said had put lives in danger.

His lawyers had argued the entire prosecution was politically motivated, powered by U.S. President Donald Trump, and that Assange's extradition would pose a severe threat to the work of journalists.