Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is currently involved in an extradition hearing in London, UK and he has made a rather bizarre request.
Assange has complained that he cannot follow the proceedings of his hearing because he couldn’t hear what was happening from his position on the dock. The Wikileaks founder also said that he could not communicate with his lawyers from the dock according to a Reuters report.
“I am as much a participant in these proceedings as I am at Wimbledon,” Assange reportedly said, “I cannot communicate with my lawyers or ask them for clarifications.”
Microphones and US Embassy officials were among the reasons Assange said he couldn’t confide in his lawyers from the dock.
As such Assange has made the rather unusual request of being allowed to sit with his legal team. The judge in the matter, Vanessa Baraitser, said that this was a risk assessment she could not make and was unsure whether Assange would still be considered in custody if not in the dock.
Legal representation for the US government, James Lewis, said that he wouldn’t object to Assange being allowed to sit with his council if he were handcuffed to a security official.
A formal application for Assange to sit with his council will be submitted today.
In April last year Ecuador withdrew Assange’s request for asylum and he was promptly arrested by London Metropolitan Police.
The Wikileaks founder faces 17 counts of violating the US Espionage Act after publishing secret military and diplomatic documents. He could face up to 175 years in prison if found guilty according to The New York Times.