Members of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s legal team were blocked from entering the Ecuadorian embassy in London this weekend, WikiLeaks’ official Twitter account said Saturday.
Ecuadorian officials turned away attorneys Jen Robinson and Aitor Martinez scheduled to meet with Assange, who is preparing for a court hearing at a “national security court complex at Alexandria, Virginia,” according to the whistleblowing non-profit organization. The aim of the hearing is to “remove the secrecy order” concerning the U.S. charges Assange faces, the group tweeted.
BREAKING: Ecuador's government has refused Julian Assange's lawyers [UK lawyer & Spanish lawyer Aitor Martínez] access to him this weekend (although the embassy is manned 24/7) to prepare for his US court hearing on Tuesday.
— WikiLeaks ()
Further detail: the hearing is on Tuesday in the national security court complex at Alexandria, Virginia and is to remove the secrecy order on the U.S. charges against him.
— WikiLeaks ()
As Breitbart News previously reported, the Justice Department has under seal against Assange. A spokesman for the Eastern District of Virginia, which has been handling the investigation, has said the filing was made in error and was not supposed to have his name in it.
The fact that charges had been prepared was disclosed in an errant court filing in an unrelated case that was recently unsealed and that contained Assange’s name.
The filing said charges and an arrest warrant “would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.”
Assange will not willingly travel to the United States to face charges filed under seal against him, one of his lawyers has stated, foreshadowing a possible fight over extradition for a central figure in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-Trump investigation.
Assange, 47, has in the Ecuadorian Embassy under a grant of asylum for more than six years to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he was accused of sex crimes, or to the United States, the government of which he has repeatedly humbled with mass disclosures of classified information.
The filing suggests prosecutors have reason to believe they will be able to arrest and extradite Assange.
Ecuadorian officials they have cut off his high-speed internet access and will restore it only if he agrees to stop interfering in the affairs of Ecuador’s partners, such as the U.S. and Spain. He is allowed to use the embassy’s WiFi, though it is unclear if he doing so. Officials have also imposed a series of other restrictions on Assange’s activities and visitors, and ordered him to clean up after his cat.