WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been blocked from seeing proof in his extradition case, a court docket has heard.
The 48-year-old appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Courtroom by video-link on Friday for a listening to to increase his custody in Belmarsh Jail, in southeast London.
He’s being held within the high-security jail earlier than a full listening to in February when he’ll struggle extradition to the US, the place he faces 18 prices, together with conspiring to hack right into a Pentagon pc.
Assange is accused of working with former US Military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a whole bunch of hundreds of labeled paperwork.
With unkempt white hair and beard, he appeared uncomfortable as he sat ready for the listening to to begin, clenching his fingers collectively earlier than placing them contained in the sleeves of his gray sweater.
He spoke to substantiate his identify and date of delivery, saying: “I do, however I am an Australian”, after the court docket’s authorized adviser had mistakenly urged he was a Swedish nationwide.
The court docket heard his legal professionals had made a request to the decide, complaining a couple of lack of entry to their consumer behind bars.
Gareth Peirce, defending Assange, mentioned his authorized group was struggling to arrange paperwork for the case as Assange had no entry to the proof.
“With out Assange’s data, a few of it’s lately acquired proof, a few of it’s topic to months of investigation not all the time on this nation, of which he’s unaware due to the blockage in visits,” she mentioned.
“Regardless of our greatest efforts, Assange has not been given what he have to be given, and we’re doing our utmost to chop by way of this.”
Peirce mentioned the governor of Belmarsh had prioritised household visits over authorized visits and requested the decide to step in.
However District Choose Vanessa Baraitser mentioned she had no jurisdiction over the Jail Service.
His look comes weeks after greater than 60 docs warned in an open letter addressed to House Secretary Priti Patel that he might die in jail with out pressing medical care.
The medics, from the UK, Australia, Europe and Sri Lanka, expressed “severe issues” about Assange’s health to face trial.
He was jailed for 50 weeks in Could for breaching his bail situations after going into hiding within the Ecuadorian embassy in London to keep away from extradition to Sweden over intercourse offence allegations, which he has all the time denied.
In November, WikiLeaks welcomed a choice by the Swedish authorities to drop a rape investigation.
Assange has been in custody since he was dramatically faraway from the embassy constructing in April.
He’ll subsequent seem in court docket by video-link on December 19.