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COVID scare: Assange extradition hearing suspended

The London hearing on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition from the UK to the US has been postponed over fears a lawyer may have been exposed to COVID-19.

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser adjourned the case until Monday to allow a lawyer representing the US to be tested for the virus.

Mr. Assange’s counsel, Edward Fitzgerald, said it had to be assumed that the lawyer had COVID-19.

“Court staff themselves would be at risk, and you yourself may well be at risk,” he told the judge.

Judge Baraitser requested for submissions from both legal teams about what to do if the lawyer is confirmed to have the disease.

Forty-nine-year-old Mr. Assange is fighting attempts to get the British Government to send him to the US to stand trial on spying charges.

US prosecutors have indicted the Australian-born WikiLeaks founder on eighteen espionage and computer misuse charges over publication of secret US military documents a decade ago.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

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