Julian Assange appeared before London's Westminster Magistrates Court looking frail and in a befuddled state on Monday afternoon. Supporters of the WikiLeaks founder thronged outside the London Court, as his legal team put forth a bid to extend the date by three months for his extradition to the US scheduled for February 2020, which was refused by the Court. On Monday, according to those present inside the Court asserted that Assange 'struggled to say his own name and date of birth,' and reportedly holding back his tears said, "I can't think properly." Further arguing the equitability of the case, citing that the "superpower had 10 years" to prepare for the case, however, he is unable to access his writings.
In an outlandish statement, when questioned if he understood the dates of his upcoming extradition trial, the whistleblower reportedly responded saying that the US attempted to "steal his children's' DNA." Assange reportedly said, "They are saying journalists and whistleblowers are enemies of the people. they have unfair advantages in dealing with documents. They know the interior of my life with my psychologist. They steal my children's DNA. This is not equitable what is happening here."
Julian Assange's lawyers inside the London Court argued that they need time to prepare for the case against his extradition to the US. The lawyer even accused the US of spying against the whistleblower, while Assange holed up inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London seeking refugee for seven years before he was dragged out of the consulate in April 2019. Assange's lawyer further argued that the charges against the journalist were being "reinvigorated" by Donald Trump's administration. "It is a political attempt to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information, it is unprecedented," the lawyer stated. The whistleblower's full extradition case hearing would begin on February 25, 2020.
The WikiLeaks founder, currently imprisoned in Belmarsh is slapped with 18 charges in the United States including the Espionage Act after publishing classified documents of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, conspiring to hack into US government system. Often oscillating between the titles of a journalist, publisher, data warrior, and a spy, Assange claimed global notability for divulging war crimes of the United States during the nation's 'war against terror.' However, if indicted the whistleblower could face up to 175 years in prison. However, the indictment of whistleblower Julian Assange under the Espionage Act is often viewed as a threat to press freedom.
Earlier, Assange's father had claimed that the WikiLeaks founder is "subjected to every sort of torment," despite condemnation from the United Nations. After meeting Assange in August, his father said that the whistleblower was a bit shaky, is suffering from anxiety and has lost a lot of weight.
Wikileaks, an anti-secrecy organisation, was founded in 2006 as a platform for whistleblowers to release classified information anonymously. By 2015, Wikileaks became a portal to publish over 10 million documents, including top-secret documents. Ever since its launch in 2006, Wikileaks has published thousands of classified documents, disclosing the details from national security, war, politics to the film industry.