WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces extradition hearing
FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2016, file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stands on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, June 14, 2019 7:00AM EDT
LONDON -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is expected to appear at hearing in a London court via video link as he continues his fight against extradition to the United States.
The 47-year-old Assange is currently in Belmarsh Prison on the outskirts of London serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in Britain.
He was too ill to appear at a recent hearing but is expected Friday to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court via video link.
U.S. officials have made clear their intention to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act, blaming him for directing WikiLeaks' publication of a huge trove of secret documents that disclosed the names of people who provided confidential information to American and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Assange asserts that he is a journalist with First Amendment protections.