Judge says WikiLeaks founder Assange MUST appear at next court hearing

Judge says ‘ill’ WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange MUST appear at his next court hearing unless there is medical evidence to explain why he can not

  • Judge ordered that Julian Assange must appear at his next court hearing 
  • Medical evidence will be required if Assange’s representatives say he is unable
  • Assange, 48, is wanted in the US to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion 

A judge has ordered that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange must appear at his next court hearing unless there is medical evidence to explain why he cannot.

District judge Vanessa Baraitser made the ruling after being told that Assange was said to be too ill to attend Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday for the latest administrative hearing in his extradition case.

Assange, 48, is wanted in the US to face 17 charges under the Espionage Act and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion after the publication of hundreds of thousands of classified documents in 2010 and 2011.

District judge Vanessa Baraitser has ordered Julian Assange must appear at his next court hearing unless there is medical evidence to explain otherwise

He is currently being held in London’s maximum-security Belmarsh prison while the court system tries to reschedule his extradition hearing, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Assange’s barrister Mark Summers QC told the court his client did not appear by video link because he was unwell.

The judge told the court that the final hearing is likely to be held at the Old Bailey in September.

Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange protest in front of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London this month

She said this has not been confirmed but it ‘is almost certainly to be held at the Central Criminal Court’.

In adjourning the case to July 27 at 10am, the judge said Assange must appear via video link ‘unless there is medical evidence’ to explain his non-attendance.

His full extradition hearing is set to take place on September 7, having originally been scheduled for May 18.

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