WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was too ill on Thursday to appear via video link from a British prison in a hearing on an extradition request from the United States, his lawyer said. The United States is seeking the extradition of Assange, 47, who was dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London on April 11. He faces a total of 18 U.S. criminal counts and decades in prison if convicted.
WikiLeaks said it had grave concerns about Assange’s health and that he had been moved to a health ward at London’s Belmarsh high-security prison. “During the seven weeks in Belmarsh his health has continued to deteriorate and he has dramatically lost weight,” it added in a statement. “The decision of prison authorities to move him to the health ward speaks for itself.”