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Iceland: 'Absurd' to proceed with Assange trial amid COVID-19 outbreak - Wikileaks editor Hrafnsson03:22

Iceland: 'Absurd' to proceed with Assange trial amid COVID-19 outbreak - Wikileaks editor Hrafnsson

Iceland, Reykjavik
April 08, 2020 at 13:10 GMT +00:00 · Published

Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson condemned a British judge's decision to carry on with Julian Assange's extradition hearing amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, speaking to RT from Reykjavik on Wednesday.

"It is absolutely absurd not to take into account the situation and not move the hearing which is planned for May 18 further down the road. And the tone that the judge Vanessa Baraitser kept in her hearing yesterday didn't ring really solid if you think about the situation. She was talking about seeing things becoming normal in the court system in two weeks' time. Everybody that is just reading news and watching what is going on in society knows that it is not going to happen," said Hrafnsson.

He pointed out that Assange "is a very vulnerable individual especially to virus such as COVID-19. He has an underlying lung condition, and he would be even in outside society considered at great risk," he said, as one prisoner has already died from COVID-19 in the Belmarsh Prison, where Assange is being held.

"I am absolutely certain that there are much more cases than they are reporting. Simply they are not testing prison population to know exactly what is going on there," said Hrafnsson.

On Tuesday the Westminster Magistrates Court in London ruled that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's extradition trial is set to proceed as initially planned, on May 18, despite restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The WikiLeaks co-founder has remained behind bars in Belmarsh Prison since April 2019 following his arrest. In May, he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations.

Iceland: 'Absurd' to proceed with Assange trial amid COVID-19 outbreak - Wikileaks editor Hrafnsson03:22
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Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson condemned a British judge's decision to carry on with Julian Assange's extradition hearing amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, speaking to RT from Reykjavik on Wednesday.

"It is absolutely absurd not to take into account the situation and not move the hearing which is planned for May 18 further down the road. And the tone that the judge Vanessa Baraitser kept in her hearing yesterday didn't ring really solid if you think about the situation. She was talking about seeing things becoming normal in the court system in two weeks' time. Everybody that is just reading news and watching what is going on in society knows that it is not going to happen," said Hrafnsson.

He pointed out that Assange "is a very vulnerable individual especially to virus such as COVID-19. He has an underlying lung condition, and he would be even in outside society considered at great risk," he said, as one prisoner has already died from COVID-19 in the Belmarsh Prison, where Assange is being held.

"I am absolutely certain that there are much more cases than they are reporting. Simply they are not testing prison population to know exactly what is going on there," said Hrafnsson.

On Tuesday the Westminster Magistrates Court in London ruled that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's extradition trial is set to proceed as initially planned, on May 18, despite restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The WikiLeaks co-founder has remained behind bars in Belmarsh Prison since April 2019 following his arrest. In May, he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations.

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