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Examination of Julian Assange extradition request suspended until May

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — British justice suspended Thursday until May 18 the examination of the request for extradition of the founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange, requested by the United States who want to judge him for spying after the publication of a mass of confidential documents.

The hearings, which started on Monday and end one day ahead of schedule, will resume for three weeks from May 18 in the court in Woolwich (east London) and the decision of Judge Vanessa Baraitser should be returned in the summer.

The 48-year-old Australian, who appears in a glass box, and complains of not being able to converse as he intends with his lawyers, was denied Thursday to be able to take a seat next to them.

“I cannot give them instructions,” said Julian Assange on Thursday.

“It seems to me that you have no trouble getting the attention of your lawyers,” replied the magistrate, stressing that there were a range of possibilities, written notes and hearing suspensions, which could allow them to communicate as they see fit.

Julian Assange is being prosecuted in the United States for having disseminated from 2010 more than 700,000 classified documents on American military and diplomatic activities, notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. He faces up to 175 years in prison, under anti-spy laws of 1917 and for hacking.

The United States accuses him of having endangered sources of American services. For their part, Assange’s lawyers denounce a political procedure based on “lies”.

To rule on the extradition request, the British justice system must in particular ensure that it is not disproportionate or incompatible with human rights.

Assange was arrested in April 2019 after seven years in solitary confinement at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he took refuge after violating the conditions of his bail, fearing extradition to the United States.

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