Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has been remanded in custody once more pending an extradition hearing next February which could see him flown to the USA to face spying charges.
 
Assange fled to London’s Ecuadorian embassy in 2012, seeking to evade extradition to Sweden where he was facing rape accusations. 
Denying the allegations, he stated that he was attempting to evade extradition to the USA. In May of this year, he was sentenced to 50 weeks for violating his UK bail conditions in 2012 at a sentencing hearing at Southwark Crown Court. 
 
Assange was dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy in April after more than seven years inside the embassy.
Appearing in court today via video link from his cell in Belmarsh Prison, he spoke only to confirm his name and age.
Reuters reports that he is due to appear in court again on October 21, with the full extradition hearing to start on February 25, 2020. 
 
The Australian journalist, 48, faces 18 counts in the US, including conspiring to hack government databases and violating espionage laws.
Assange insists he is simply a publisher of leaked diplomatic cables, claiming protection due to journalistic status and his first amendment free speech rights under the US constitution, but he could spend decades behind bars if convicted. 
 
The leaked documents purported to show a long list of casualties and deaths during the Iraq War, with the list exceeding the figures officially released. US defense agencies claim his actions breached the security of the armed forces and intelligence agents, endangering their lives during the war.