Assange extradition hearing date set

11 Jan 2011

A two-day extradition hearing for Julian Assange, the founder of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, has been set to begin 7 February.

Assange is fighting his extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning for alleged sex crimes.

Assange’s QC Geoffrey Robertson, during a 10-minute hearing today at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court, said legal preparations are in place, and Hannah Pye, for the Swedish authorities, did not object to the 7 February date.

District Judge Nicholas Evans released Assange on conditional bail. The bail was varied so Assange may stay at the Frontline Club, in Paddington, on 6-7 February, as court heard it’s a long journey to court from his temporary home on the Norfolk/Suffolk border in England.

Skeleton arguments by the defence will be released to the media on the first day of the extradition hearing, the court heard.

WikiLeaks has come under the spotlight recently for publishing confidential US embassy cables.

Tina Costanza