Assange extradition case to resume on Monday after lawyer’s negative Covid test

The extradition case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will resume on Monday after a Covid-19 scare turned out to be a false alarm.

On Thursday, a hearing at the Old Bailey was brought to a halt amid fears a lawyer for the US government may have been exposed to the virus.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser adjourned until Monday so the barrister could be tested for coronavirus.

On Friday, it emerged the test result was negative, meaning the case could continue on Monday with the next witness, US lawyer Eric Lewis.

Julian Assange
The extradition case is due to go on for up to four weeks (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Assange is fighting extradition to the US following leaks of hundreds of thousands of classified documents in 2010 and 2011 exposing alleged war crimes and abuse.

The 49-year-old, who has been in high-security Belmarsh Prison for 16 months, is facing 18 charges – including plotting to hack computers and conspiring to obtain and disclose national defence information.

His defence claim the prosecution under the Donald Trump administration has been politically motivated.

The extradition case is due to go on for up to four weeks.

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