Assange to face extradition hearing next month
LONDON — Sweden’s attempt to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for questioning on sexual assault allegations will be examined by a London court on February 7-8, a judge said Tuesday.
District Judge Nicholas Evans set the date for the full extradition hearing during a 10-minute hearing at Woolwich Crown Court in southeast London.
Watched by dozens of journalists from around the world, the 39-year-old Australian spoke only to confirm his name and address.
The extradition hearing will take place in the same court, which can accommodate more journalists than the smaller court in central London where Assange has appeared previously.
After the hearing, Assange told journalists: “We are happy about today’s outcome.” He added: “Our work with WikiLeaks continues unabated.”
The judge agreed to change Assange’s bail conditions for the full hearing, allowing him to stay at the Frontline Club, a media club where WikiLeaks operates in Britain, on the nights of February 6 and February 7.
“The only variation in your bail is that on the nights of the 6th and 7th of February you will be allowed to reside at the Frontline Club in London,” the judge said.
Assange has been living on the country estate of Vaughan Smith, one of the founders of the Frontline Club, in Norfolk, eastern England, since being released on bail on December 16, nine days after he was arrested by British police on a Swedish warrant.
Among the spectators at the brief court appearance were two of his high-profile supporters, socialite Jemima Khan and human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger.
Wearing a navy blue suit and a dark tie, the silver-haired Assange appeared relaxed as he appeared in the dock behind a glass screen. Before the hearing he laughed and joked with two female prison officials.