Assange extradition case delayed until September
The second part of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's US extradition hearing has been moved to September and will take place in a different British court.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's US extradition case will be moved to another British court after being delayed until September.
District judge Vanessa Baraitser has ordered the Australian's case, which had been set for May 18, be moved from Woolwich Crown Court to another court and to resume in September.
"It's going to take some negotiation to find a Crown Court that is open in September, in the current climate, and willing and available to take this hearing," judge Baraitser said on Monday in Westminster Magistrates' Court.
The new location, which might be outside London, and start date for the remaining three weeks of the hearing will be confirmed on Friday.
Judge Baraitser delayed the May 18 hearing last week over her concerns that Assange and lawyers wouldn't be able to attend court in person due to the coronavirus lockdown.
She suggested July or August, but both prosecution and defence lawyers were busy during those months. Both parties support the delay until September.
Assange's father John Shipton is delighted about the delay, saying it will allow family and supporters from Australia to attend.
He's also optimistic Assange might not be behind bars for the whole four months.
"I'm hoping there will be a very strong and firm bail application," he told AAP.
"It appears his lawyers held the power in today's hearing and got the hearing dates they wanted, so it's a good sign."
Lawyers didn't attend Monday's hearing due to the lockdown.
Six journalists and six members of the public were in the courtroom. Journalists dialling in were accidentally left on mute and could only hear holding music for the entire hearing.
Assange's representatives confirmed he was "too unwell" to appear via videolink.
Judge Baraitser scheduled a callover hearing on June 1 if the Australian was well enough to attend via videolink.
The 48-year-old faces 17 charges of violating the US Espionage Act and one of conspiring to commit computer intrusion.
He's accused of publishing thousands of secret US diplomatic and military files, some of which revealed alleged war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The charges carry a total of 175 years' imprisonment.