Smith noted that it was difficult for Assange to speak and there was a feeling that he was under the influence of some drugs.

“I think that he just wanted to escape from the reality in which he is now for a few minutes and relive the happy moments,” the journalist said, recalling that in 2010 Assange spent the weekend at his home.

Smith added that on Christmas Eve, the founder of WikiLeaks was only allowed one phone call.

According to the journalist, the conversation was not fun.

“He told me,“ I'm slowly dying here, ”Smith said, noting that there was a noticeable deterioration in Assange’s condition.

The journalist added that his friend’s speech was slurred.

“He spoke slowly ... Julian is a very eloquent, very clear-cut person when he speaks. And the way he spoke was terrible, ”Smith said.

He added that he did not understand why Assange was placed in Belmarsh, a maximum security prison for men, which contains criminals and defendants that pose a threat to society.

Smith expressed the view that this may be due to the desire to take revenge on the one who tells the truth, as well as punish others as an example.

“What is happening with Julian is obviously dictated to a greater extent by the desire to take revenge and show others by example that you should not try to hold America accountable in this way,” he said.

Earlier, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Niels Meltzer said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is undergoing psychological torture that poses a threat to his life. Meltzer recalled that when he visited a prison in Great Britain in May at Assange, "clinically measurable consequences of psychological torture" were noticeable, "certain cognitive abilities were already impaired then."

In November, Meltzer accused Britain of violating Assange's rights, expressed concern about the deterioration of his health and said that his life was in danger.