District Judge Vanessa Baraitser on Monday 27 April decided to adjourn extradition proceedings against Julian Assange due to the ongoing restrictions in place in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Assange’s case was due to resume hearings on 18 May 2020 but the Judge said in a hearing held by conference call that it would not be appropriate for the case to go ahead remotely. Though amendments to the Extradition Act 2003 have enabled the conduct of extradition hearings by live link if the judge is satisfied “it is in the interests of justice to do so” the court in this case concluded that Mr Assange and lawyers from both sides will need to be present in court to facilitate the proper arguing of the case.
At a case management hearing yesterday, 4 May 2020, the date for resuming hearings was set for September 2020, with the Court to be confirmed nearer the time. Mr Assange had been due to attend by video link but was too unwell.
Mr Assange’s legal team have previously sought to delay the hearings arguing, among other things, that the coronavirus lockdown has made it impossible for them to meet Mr Assange and for him to contribute meaningfully to the preparation of his case.