Illness forces Assange to miss court hearing

Julian Assange was too ill to attend the latest court hearing in his extradition case at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 1 June. The hearing which is described as procedural, heard from Julian’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald QC that his client did not appear by video link because he was unwell. The court had previously heard that Mr Assange had received medical advice that using the prison facility could raise his risk of coronavirus infection.

A further administrative hearing dealing with procedural matters is scheduled for Monday 29 June.

The full extradition hearing is set to take place on Monday 7 September, having originally been scheduled for 18 May. A crown court venue has not yet been found to hear the case.

According to press reports the brief hearing at the magistrates’ court on Monday was barely audible over a telephone link available for journalists to listen in to proceedings.

Joseph A. Farrell a WikiLeaks ambassador and a Centre for Investigative Journalism board member said: “Whether Julian can get proper access to his legal team remains unlikely, as Belmarsh prison remains in full lockdown. And to add insult to injury the court is unable to provide reporters with the most basic levels of access.”

Meanwhile a new call for solidarity action with Julian Assange has been issued as his extradition hearing is set to resume in September. Following motions in support of Assange at the Birmingham TUC and from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), a resolution campaign is being launched across the labour movement. The comprehensive resolution adopted by the NUJ last November is to be circulated for other trade unions, Labour Party bodies, and campaign organisations to adapt for their own use.

“Please put this resolution to your next meeting”, said John Rees from the Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign, “this is the defining free speech case of the 21st century. Freedom of information, free from government censorship, is the lifeblood of an effective labour movement. The NUJ have made a stand. Follow their example”.

The NUJ resolution is reproduced can be found at: https://dontextraditeassange.com/press-release/national-union-of-journalists-uk-issues-resolution-on-assange-extradition-case

Please adapt it as required for your own organisation and let the Assange Campaign know when it passes at: office@dontextraditeassange.com

 

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