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British judge denies WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange delay to extradition hearing

Julian Assange. (Cancillería del Ecuador/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A full extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will go ahead in February after a London judge declined his legal team’s request to delay the proceedings by three months.

Assange appeared in Westminster Magistrates Court on October 21 saying he needed more time to prepare his case against his extradition to the United States, where he is accused of conspiring to hack into U.S. government computers and violating an espionage law.

After the 48-year-old Australian and his legal team failed to convince Judge Vanessa Baraitser that a delay was justified, Assange said the case was not “equitable.”

Assange argued that the U.S. government has “unlimited resources” while he doesn’t have easy access to his lawyers or to documents needed to prepare his battle against extradition while being detained.

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Former U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed an order in June allowing him to be extradited.

U.S. authorities accuse Assange of scheming with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break a password for a classified government computer.