Monday, October 21, 2019

Wikileaks founder fights back tears as he loses bid to delay extradition hearing

Julian Assange fought back tears as he lost the first bout of his extradition battle when a judge rejected his pleas for a full court hearing to be delayed.

The Wikileaks founder appeared in person in court for the first time since May this morning after illness prevented him from being at previous hearings in his battle against extradition to the United States to face spying charges.

Assange, dressed in a navy suit and light blue jumper, raised his fist to supporters in the public gallery. He was cleanly shaven in contrast to the long beard he had grown while holed up in Ecuador's embassy.

But he struggled to say his own name, mumbling, pausing and stuttering as he gave his name and date of birth at the start of a case management hearing.

A full hearing is due to start in February next year, but Assange's lawyers tried to have it delayed for three months because they need more time to prepare their case. Judge Vanessa Baraitser declined the request to delay proceedings.

When his case was adjourned, Assange complained that he had not understood proceedings. He said: 'I can't research anything, I can't access any of my writing. It's very difficult where I am.'

He told the judge he is up against a 'superpower' with 'unlimited resources' and appeared to be fighting back tears as he added: 'I can't think properly.'

The case will now begin in February, although legal experts have suggested that, if the case goes to a series of appeals, it could be 2025 before Assange is actually sent to the U.S.

He is likely to remain in jail for that time and it is estimated jail and court costs would run to nearly £600,000.

Assange, 48, faces 18 counts in the U.S. including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law. He could spend decades in prison if convicted.


  1. He should be left alone. What is his offense again mschew

  2. He should have known it would get to this. Why the tears

  3. He should have known it would get to this. Why the tears