WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to ill to appear via video link on Thursday at Westminster Magistrates Court for his extradition hearing.
WikiLeaks has “grave concerns” over Assange as he was moved to the medical ward at HMP Belmarsh.
Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot referred to Assange as “not very well” and a date for 12 June was set for the next hearing.
Arbuthnot said, “It may be that that hearing will take place in Belmarsh” and added that “It may be more convenient for everyone if it’s there.”
Gareth Pierce defending Assange told the magistrate that he is “not very well.”
Hours before the case management hearing was to commence a spokesman for WikiLeaks said they have “grave concerns about the state of health of our publisher, Julian Assange, who has been moved to the health ward of Belmarsh prison.”
During the seven weeks in Belmarsh his health has continued to deteriorate, and he has dramatically lost weight. The decision of the prison authorities to move him into the health ward speaks for itself.
“We strongly condemn the refusal by the Swedish court to postpone a hearing on 3rd June on the basis of Mr Assange’s health condition.
“Defence lawyer for Assange, Per Samuelson, said that Julian Assange’s health state last Friday was such ‘that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him’.”
John Pilger, a Bafta-winning documentary maker and supporter of Assange said that all media organisations are now “in grave danger.”
Pilger told the Press Association outside Westminster Magistrates court, “Every journalist should be here.
“What’s happening to Julian Assange may certainly, almost certainly, happen to many other journalists.
“Today Julian Assange, tomorrow the Press Association, if it prints the truth, the New York Times, the Guardian, all the rest of them.
“If they really do journalism, they’re in grave danger at the moment.”
Kristinn Hrafnsson WikiLeaks editor-in-chief said, “Julian’s case is of major historic significance. It will be remembered as the worst attack on press freedom in our lifetime.
“The people need to voice their condemnation; it is their politicians, their courts, their police and their prisons that are being abused in order to leave this black stain on history.
“please act now to avert this shame.”