The week-long hearing, which started on 24 February, will determine whether the WikiLeaks’ founder will be extradited to the US at Washington’s request. The US is seeking to prosecute Assange over allegedly stealing and leaking secret American cables and war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq.
WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson has stated that he was banned from the hearings on Assange’s extradition to the US without being given any explanation, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene.
The editor-in-chief was the only person barred from visiting the court hearings.
“Only minutes before the hearing started, my name was called out outside the public gallery. […] I was told that the court had decided to ban me from the public gallery altogether. I got no reason, there was no reason given for that decision. Simply, that the editor of WikiLeaks was banned from the public gallery in this hearing”, he said.
Hrafnsson added that he was “outraged” by the court’s decision to bar him from attending “the most important hearing, to the fate of WikiLeaks” and Julian Assange. Assange’s father, John Shipton, in turn said that the whistleblower’s family also walked out of the hearing in solidarity with Hrafnsson.