Crime & Justice

Assange extradition case to resume Monday after Covid delay

By Judith Mora

London, Sep 6 (efe-epa).- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will face the second part of a United States extradition case against him in London’s Old Bailey court on Monday.

The 49-year-old is expected to appear at the court from Belmarsh Prison in the British capital where he is being detained.

He has been charged with 18 espionage and hacking offenses in the US which carry a sentence of 175 years imprisonment.

His extradition hearing began on 24 February and was due to continue in May but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Assange’s partner Stella Moris, mother of two children he secretly fathered while holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, said he has had had difficulty communicating with his lawyers during that time.

The 37-year-old lawyer, whose relationship with Assange was revealed in April, said the charges against him are political, which are prohibited in the British-American extradition treaty.

She was able to visit her partner with his young children Gabriel and Max two weeks ago, for the first time since lockdown and said he was “much thinner” than before.

“He was in a lot of pain and not in good health,” she added.

US officials issued a new indictment in June maintaining the initial charges and broadening the scope of several and the evidence supporting them.

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