Wikileaks founder Julian Assange claims security forces bugged his rooms at the Ecuadorian embassy as he battles extradition to the US ahead of secret hearing
- Julian Assange’s legal team claimed rooms at Ecuadorian embassy were bugged
- Assange, 48, is fighting extradition to America where he would stand trial
- He faces allegations of conspiring with intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning
Julian Assange claims his rooms at the Ecuadorian embassy were bugged by security forces as he battles extradition to the US.
Assange, 48, is fighting deportation to America where he would stand trial for conspiring with army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to expose military secrets between January and May 2010.
Edward Fitzgerald QC, representing Assange, yesterday told Westminster Magistrates’ Court material being submitted to the court will cover medical evidence, Assange’s prison conditions and ongoing Spanish legal proceedings relating to the alleged ‘bugging of the conversations with his lawyers in the Ecuadorian embassy’.
Assange also appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today via video-link from maximum-security Belmarsh Prison in southeast London.
Julian Assange arriving at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London in April this year
Julian Assange supporters outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, December 20
It is understood the former Wikileaks editor gave evidence about matters concerning conversations he held with his lawyers while he was residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
But reporters were not admitted into the hearing because it concerned matters of national security.
On the walls outside the courtroom a sign read simply: ‘Closed court’.
Mr Fitzgerald told the court yesterday: ‘There is a bundle with the revelations in the Spanish proceedings in regards to the ongoing evidence of the bugging of the conversations with his lawyers in the Ecuadorian embassy.’
Assange’s supporters held a demonstration outside the court handing out leaflets and chanting various slogans.
His full extradition hearing will be heard at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court on February 24 next year and will last up to four weeks.
A protester wears a mask of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and prison overalls as he poses outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London on December 19
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said she understood the UK government was keen for proceedings not to be delayed and for the matter to be resolved within the allotted time.
There will be a brief administrative hearing back at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 18 January.
Last month Swedish authorities dropped rape allegations made in 2010 against Assange.
He took refuge in a small office, converted into a bedroom in Ecuador’s embassy since 2012 before he was finally evicted earlier this year.
Assange was then jailed for 50 weeks for breaching bail on 1 May.
Source: Read Full Article