epa07622699 (FILE) - Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, in a prison van, as he leaves Southwark Crown Court in London, Britain, 01 May 2019, reissued 13 May 2019 (reissued 03 June 2019). Reports on 03 June 2019 state Uppsala District Court in Uppsala, Sweden, 03 June 2019 denied a request of detention of Julian Assange in absentia on rape allegations. Assange was arrested at Ecuadorean embassy in March 2019. EPA/NEIL HALL *** Local Caption *** 55208515
Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, in a prison van (Picture: EPA)

Julian Assange will stay in prison until an extradition hearing rather than leave on bail because of his ‘history of absconding’.

The Wikileaks founder was kicked out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London in April, after hiding there for seven years to avoid sex offence allegations in Sweden, which he denies.

Assange, whose colourful list of visitors included Pamela Anderson, claimed he would be dragged to the US over the military cables Wikileaks published if he went to Sweden.

The British government finally allowed him to be extradited to the US in June, and he was handed a 50-week jail term in the UK for skipping bail.

He would have walked out of HMP Belmarsh, London, later this month, but a judge decided she had ‘substantial grounds’ to believe he would abscond again.

epa07622697 (FILE) - Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks to reporters on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, 19 May 2017 (reissued 03 June 2019). Reports on 03 June 2019 state Uppsala District Court in Uppsala, Sweden, 03 June 2019 denied a request of detention of Julian Assange in absentia on rape allegations. Assange was arrested at Ecuadorean embassy in March 2019. EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA *** Local Caption *** 55004940
Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2017 (Picture: EPA)

District Judge Vanessa Baraitser told him: ‘You have been produced today because your sentence of imprisonment is about to come to an end.

Advertisement
Advertisement

‘When that happens your remand status changes from a serving prisoner to a person facing extradition.

‘Therefore I have given your lawyer an opportunity to make an application for bail on your behalf and she has declined to do so. Perhaps not surprisingly in light of your history of absconding in these proceedings.

Assange was asked if he understood what was happening, and replied: ‘Not really. I’m sure the lawyers will explain it.’

He faces two more hearings in October before a final hearing on his extradition in February.

File photo dated 11/04/19 of Julian Assange. Swedish prosecutors have concluded seven witness interviews over the summer as part of their investigation into a rape allegation against the WikiLeaks founder. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday September 9, 2019. A statement on Monday said the material was being analysed before a decision is made on how to proceed. Mr Assange has always denied the claim made in 2010. See PA story LEGAL Assange. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Mr Assange faces extradition to the US on computer hacking-related charges (Picture: PA)
Advertisement
Advertisement