UK Justice Pursues Assange’s Trial despite Pandemic

UK justice dismissed this Tuesday a request to postpone the resumption of the extradition trial of Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange, scheduled for May 18, due to Covid-19 pandemic.

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If he is turned in to American justice, Assange could be sentenced to 175 years of imprisonment .

This is an unpredictable situation, but we cannot assume that courts will not be operating as usual for that date, assured judge Vanessa Baraitser during the oral hearing held this Tuesday at the Westminster Magistrate Court in response to the postponement request by the defense.

According to reporter Marty Silk, from AAP Australian agency, on Twitter, in the hearing room there were only present five journalists and five people in the audience since Assange’s lawyers and US attorneys participated via videoconference.

Wikileaks’s founder, to whom the US wants to judge for having disclosed on that website dozens of thousands of top secret files of the US diplomacy and military, did not partake in the oral hearing, not even via Internet, from Belmarsh prison, where is confined from past April.

The extradition trial started at the ends of last February in a court adjacent to that top security prison located east of London, and after spending four days to the presentation of arguments, was postponed until upcoming May.

Assange’s defense considers; however, that due to quarantine and measures of social distancing imposed by the government in the attempt to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, the best would be to postpone the process until next September.

According to cited figures by the British press this Tuesday, at least 107 inmates have been positive to the tests of the novel coronavirus in 38 UK prisons, of that number, at least nine people have passed away.

Last weekend, the Ministry of Justice announced to release some 4,000 prisoners to make more space in jails, but according to AAP then reported, Assange will not be among the benefited because he is not fulfilling a criminal sentence.

If he is turned in to American justice, Assange could be sentenced to 175 years of imprisonment for being charged with 18 crimes, including conspiracy to commit espionage to hacking.

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