Lawyer: Assange Too Ill for Court Appearance

WikiLeaks expresses 'grave concerns' over founder's health
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2019 6:11 AM CDT
Assange Misses Court Session Amid Health Concerns
In this May 1, 2019, photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is taken from court, where he appeared on charges of jumping British bail seven years ago, in London.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

The legal fight on whether Julian Assange will be extradited to the US continues, but Assange himself is not present for it. His lawyer says he is too sick even for court appearances via video link, while WikiLeaks has expressed "grave concerns" about his health. “He’s in fact far from well,” attorney Gareth Peirce told Reuters after Assange missed a court appearance Thursday. The news outlet quotes Judge Emma Arbuthnot of Westminster Magistrates’ Court as saying, “He’s not very well.” The next hearing on the extradition request is scheduled for June 12.

In a statement on Twitter, WikiLeaks said the 47-year-old Assange had been moved to a health ward at Britain's Belmarsh prison, where he is serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail. Assange has "dramatically lost weight," says WikiLeaks, adding that one of his attorneys reported that "it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him." Prior to his detention in Belmarsh, Assange spent seven years inside the Ecuadorean embassy. (Assange also faces legal trouble in Sweden).

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