Report from The Guardian:
The WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, is due to appear at the Old Bailey in the latest stage of his legal battle against extradition to the US, where he faces a prison sentence of up to 175 years.
The hearing, which is scheduled to last four weeks, will hear allegations from the US Department of Justice that Assange tried to recruit hackers to find classified government information.
A US grand jury previously indicted Assange on 18 charges, 17 of which fall under the US Espionage Act. They cover conspiracy to receive, obtaining and disclosing classified diplomatic and military documents.
His lawyers say they have been given insufficient time to examine a new US indictment. They argue that the prosecution is politically motivated and that Assange is being pursued because WikiLeaks published US government documents that revealed evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses.
It will be the first time Assange, 49, has been in court for many months. He missed several recent appearances because of illness.
For the past 16 months, since being arrested in the Ecuadorian embassy in April 2019, he has been held on remand at Belmarsh prison. The extradition hearing was delayed because of the Covid-19 crisis. His supporters are expected to stage a protest outside the court as he arrives from the prison. Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, a South African-born lawyer, is expected to be among those in court.