Full US extradition hearing for WikiLeaks' Assange will take place in February 2020  UK court

 rt.com  06/14/2019 10:30:00 

Published time: 14 Jun, 2019 10:30 Edited time: 14 Jun, 2019 10:58

Full US extradition hearing for WikiLeaks' Assange will take place in February 2020  UK court

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange is to face a new, full US extradition hearing in February that is expected to last five days, a court at Westminster magistrates, in London, has heard.

The hearing date was set after British Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed on Thursday that he had signed and certified the US extradition order papers.

The US justice department has filed 18 charges against the 47-year-old Australian journalist, including one count of conspiring with Chelsea Manning, the former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, to gain access to the US Pentagon network. 

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Assange is currently serving a 50-week prison sentence in the UK for jumping bail in 2012. He was too ill to appear in May at the last hearing at Westminster magistrates court in relation to the US request.

The journalist spent over six years living under asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, out of fear Britain would hand him over to the US. He was forcibly dragged out of the building in April after the South American nation decided to evict him.

The WikiLeaks co-founder’s health has been of particular concern to his supporters. His lawyer, Per Samuelson, told reporters after visiting Belmarsh at the end of May that “Assange’s health situation... was such that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him.”

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, who visited Assange in Belmarsh, claimed that he showed clear signs of receiving "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture."

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