WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will make a bid to postpone his US extradition hearing due to ongoing lack of access to his lawyers in London's locked-down Belmarsh prison.
The Australian met his lawyers in person for the first time in a month in the holding cells of Woolwich Crown Court earlier this week.
Assange directed them to ask District Court Judge Vanessa Baraitser to postpone his next hearing, which is set for May 18.
His lawyers will cite the ongoing lack of access to their client, the inability of key witnesses to attend and the lack of proper media scrutiny if the hearing continues amid lockdown.
WikiLeaks ambassador Joseph Farrell says it's clear the hearing can't go on in the current environment.
"Julian's lawyers cannot prepare adequately, witnesses will not be able to travel, and journalists and the public will not have free, adequate and safe access to the proceedings," he said in a statement on Friday.
"Justice will neither be done, nor seen to be done."
WikiLeaks also said Assange won't attend Monday's hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in person or via videolink due to medical advice that "moving to, and using, the video link room in the prison is too great a risk".
Judge Baraitser has previously knocked back Assange's bid to sit with his lawyers in the courtroom, rather than the dock.
She also denied his bail application two weeks ago, when his lawyers argued Assange was in danger of contracting the coronavirus in prison.
Assange faces 17 charges of violating the US Espionage Act and one of conspiring to commit computer intrusion.
He's accused of publishing thousands of secret US diplomatic and military files, some which revealed alleged war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The charges carry a total of 175 years' imprisonment.
Australian Associated Press