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03:34

UK: Assange extradition trial 'unfair' – WikiLeaks’ Hrafnsson says

United Kingdom, London
February 26, 2020 at 23:21 GMT +00:00 · Published

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said that Julian Assange was not receiving a fair trial, while speaking outside Woolwich Crown Court in London on Wednesday.

Hrafnsson claimed that the WikiLeaks co-founder had little contact with his lawyers and was not able to speak confidentially with them, as he was sitting behind a glass-fronted dock inside the courtroom.

"He can hardly and barely hear what's going on in the courtroom. He cannot communicate with his lawyers without being observed and overheard by officials from the State Department, from the embassy, and from the Eastern District Court of Virginia," he stated.

Assange told the judge at Woolwich Crown court that he was unable to participate in the hearing from behind a bulletproof glass, and complained about the presence of US officials in the courtroom.

The WikiLeaks co-founder has remained behind bars in high-security Belmarsh Prison since May 1, 2019, after he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations. Despite this sentence coming to an end on September 22, a British judge ordered Assange remain in prison while facing extradition to the US, due to his previous history of absconding.

Extradition hearings started on Monday and are expected to continue throughout the week. A second round of hearings will be held in May.

03:34
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Description

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said that Julian Assange was not receiving a fair trial, while speaking outside Woolwich Crown Court in London on Wednesday.

Hrafnsson claimed that the WikiLeaks co-founder had little contact with his lawyers and was not able to speak confidentially with them, as he was sitting behind a glass-fronted dock inside the courtroom.

"He can hardly and barely hear what's going on in the courtroom. He cannot communicate with his lawyers without being observed and overheard by officials from the State Department, from the embassy, and from the Eastern District Court of Virginia," he stated.

Assange told the judge at Woolwich Crown court that he was unable to participate in the hearing from behind a bulletproof glass, and complained about the presence of US officials in the courtroom.

The WikiLeaks co-founder has remained behind bars in high-security Belmarsh Prison since May 1, 2019, after he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations. Despite this sentence coming to an end on September 22, a British judge ordered Assange remain in prison while facing extradition to the US, due to his previous history of absconding.

Extradition hearings started on Monday and are expected to continue throughout the week. A second round of hearings will be held in May.

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