ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Hearing Put Off Until July or November Because of Virus

The judge will decide on May 4 whether to resume Assange’s hearing in July or as late as November, when the first court dates are open.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser proposed postponing Julian Assange’s extradition hearing until either three non-consecutive weeks in July and August or three consecutive weeks in November because of the difficulties posed by the Coronavirus outbreak.

Baraitser on Monday adjourned a technical hearing until May 4 at which time a decision will be made on when the full hearing will resume.

Assange’s lawyers had submitted a petition to delay the hearing, originally scheduled to resume on May 18, because of the difficulties of consulting with Assange and of having him appear either in the courtroom, or by video-link because of unsafe conditions in Belmarsh Prison’s video room.

Baraitser said that though witnesses could appear via video, the defendant and lawyers “must be physically present” in the courtroom.

Though she said an adjournment for three weeks beginning either in July or on Nov. 2 would be a “significant delay” and that the interests of justice must be meted out “expeditiously,” Baraitser conceded that the problems presented by the Coronavirus lockdown in London made it “at best uncertain” to resume on May 18, saying that the hearing should be “vacated” to a later date.

It was the first significant concession that Baraitser has granted the defense.

The hearing will resume on May 4, at which time the new court date will be set. 

The audio of the hearing, made available by conference call to journalists and lawyers, was marred by technical difficulties, requiring that the lawyers’ statements be repeated into another microphone by a court official.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


18 comments for “ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Hearing Put Off Until July or November Because of Virus

  1. James F Mc Cann
    April 30, 2020 at 13:40

    The comments on the progress of the Star Chamber adjudicating the inappropriately called named “English Justice System” .
    There is only the English LEGAL system, which is obviously anything but. Controlled by the “Grey Govt.” hiding in the background
    but being forced to reveal itself by their actions in to slowly torturing Julian Assange to death.

  2. doris
    April 28, 2020 at 12:21

    Julian’s case is evidence of how corrupt this POS nation is, and how evil its vassals are. When telling the truth about war crimes becomes the crime, it’s time for revolution, even according to the nation’s own documents. But that will happen around the time pigs fly. Americans are too ignorant, arrogant, and lazy to realize the grave ramifications of his prosecution.

  3. Sr. Megan Rice
    April 28, 2020 at 11:52

    Julian has way passed his time in prison. Free him before and more International Laws are flagrantly disregarded..

  4. Tina
    April 28, 2020 at 02:03

    The UK will try and kill him before then. He will become a matyre. They will say he died “in isolation” of Covid-19. JULIAN ASSANGE IS SAFER IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY THAN IN THE UK.

    • April 28, 2020 at 17:06

      I agree. Neither U.S. justice nor English justice on which it is patterned offer a strict enforcement of law as it stands on the books. Judges are free to offer their own interpretations of the law.

  5. rosemerry
    April 27, 2020 at 17:05

    Surely this does not mean he will be held in prison for more months when his original sentence (for the terrible crime of skipping bail for the well-based assumption that he was to be sold off to the USA) has been greatly extended already? Let him free NOW.

  6. jaycee
    April 27, 2020 at 17:02

    Have the British authorities stated a legal justification for Assange’s continuing incarceration in a maximum security prison?

    • Anna
      April 28, 2020 at 15:45

      The British authorities have all and any justifications to incarcerate Ghislaine Maxwell, the procuress of minors for influential pedophiles. Instead, the British authorities have incarcerated and honest journalist.

  7. Faivre
    April 27, 2020 at 16:25

    He surfers a lot
    Now leave him
    If now he wants life

  8. GMCasey
    April 27, 2020 at 14:53

    The , “Virus,” has put off the hearing? It would be more correct to declare that Judge Vanessa Baraitser is the VIRUS!

    • Faivre
      April 27, 2020 at 16:24

      He surfers a lot
      Now leave him
      If now he wants life

    • exiled off mainstreet
      April 28, 2020 at 01:36

      I fully concur. Star chamber thinking has coloured her handling of this case. She represents foreign dominance and spymaster rule rather than the rule of law.

  9. OlyaPola
    April 27, 2020 at 12:13

    “The judge will decide on May 4…”

    The announce/decide conflation is very useful as is, there is many a slip between cup and lip.

  10. dfnslblty
    April 27, 2020 at 12:10

    ¡Baraitser knows nothing of expedience other than her morning tea!
    More powerful fingers are guiding this process, and the defendant has little chance of seeing daylight freely.
    Fear and paranoia stalk those afraid of the truth, and this is the result.
    There will be no justice without regime change.

    • April 28, 2020 at 16:59

      I am afraid that you are right. Sounds more like the Mafia than a supposedly civilized country. And the judges of England are no better.
      Now the virus has disrupted everybody’s life and gives these evil people cover for their evil processes.

  11. Andrew Thomas
    April 27, 2020 at 10:44

    Mr. Lauria, thank you for this update. Is there any chance of the defense team bringing to the court something in the nature of a motion to reconsider with regard to bail, or even a de novo motion based upon new evidence, i.e. the spread of Covid 19 in Belmarsh, new knowledge of its transmissibility and the inability of the authorities to cope, the now known fact that Julian has a family with which he could stay, and be easily monitored?

  12. April 27, 2020 at 09:30

    Thank you Joe!!
    Beautiful piece and a revelation to myself and many.
    We must do something NOW.. they are striving to get Assange one way or another.. a convenient viral infection.. a public sacrifice.
    A massive strike? Tear down the walls..
    Time to call in The Rolling Stones!

    • April 28, 2020 at 09:42

      Assange is my hero. He needs the support of the world. A bastion in the dark and a light in the tunnel of corruption. The virus is a very lame excuse based on no research and mainstream media FEARMONGERING.
      Viva la Assange. We need to leverage our circles of influence to get him out of jail ASAP.

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