Julian Assange denied delay to extradition hearing by London judge

Cheryl Sanders
October 22, 2019

His lawyer, Mark Summers, accused the United States of "intruding" on conversations between Assange and his lawyers while he was holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London.

Assange, 48, is accused of leaking the country's government secrets in one of the largest ever compromises of confidential information.

The WikiLeaks founder was due to be released from HMP Belmarsh on September 22, but was told at a court hearing last month he would be kept in jail because of "substantial grounds" for believing he would abscond.

USA authorities accuse Assange of scheming with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password that provided access to classified material on a government computer.

The WikiLeaks founder appeared confused and mumbled during his case management hearing in the Westminster Magistrates Court, where his lawyer was denied extra time to prepare the case.

After the judge turned down his bid for a three-month delay, Assange - speaking very softly and at times appearing to be near tears - said he didn't understand the proceedings.

But the judge told Assange that the court had no jurisdiction over the conditions of his imprisonment and said he would not be granted any more time.

Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone and journalist and documentary maker John Pilger were among Assange's supporters in a packed public gallery, while dozens of protesters gathered outside court.

Even supposing neat shaven and dressed smartly in a blue jacket, blue jumper and murky pants, Assange looked pressured whenever he changed into asked to chat at Westminster Magistrates' Court docket.

The full extradition hearing of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will go ahead in February 2020 after a London judge declined a request by his lawyers to delay proceedings by three months.

Baraitser rejected his exact crew's question for more time to amass evidence, telling Assange his next case management hearing would pick say on December 19, sooner than a rotund extradition hearing in February. "It is legally unprecedented", he told the court.

"The American state had been actively engaged in intruding into privileged discussions between Mr Assange and his lawyers in the embassy, also unlawful copying of their telephones and computers (and) hooded men breaking into offices", Summers said.

Media captionHe's been in an embassy for seven years - but why was Julian Assange there in the first place?

He said it represents the administration's aggressive attitude toward whistleblowers.

The judge said the full hearing will be heard at Belmarsh Court, which is adjacent to the prison where Assange is being held.

Assange's lawyers said the five days wouldn't be enough for the entire case to be heard.

The US wants to extradite Assange and charge him with 18 counts under the espionage act, which could total 175 years in prison.

In June, the Former Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed an order for Assange to be repatriated.

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