Assange Outburst Leads to 'Clear Warning' From Judge

WikiLeaks founder on thin ice after shouting during witness testimony in London courtroom
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2020 9:45 AM CDT
Judge to Assange: Don't Make Me Kick You Out
A demonstrator holds placards near the Central Criminal Court in London, where Julian Assange is fighting extradition to the US, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

A judge threatened to have Julian Assange thrown from the London courtroom where he's fighting extradition to the US from Britain on Tuesday after he shouted from the dock during witness testimony. "If you interrupt proceedings and disrupt a witness who is properly giving their evidence, it is open to me to continue without you in your absence," Judge Vanessa Baraitser told the Australian-born WikiLeaks founder, who faces an 18-count indictment on espionage charges in the US, per Reuters. "This is obviously not something I wish to do. I am, therefore, giving you a clear warning," Baraitser said.

Assange had shouted the word "nonsense" as James Lewis, a lawyer for the US government, told a witness that Assange was facing extradition for releasing the names of US informants, rather than for handling leaked documents, per the Daily Beast. The witness, Clive Stafford Smith, founder of legal charity Reprieve, had defended WikiLeaks as exposing war crimes and human rights violations, per the Guardian. Baraitser said Assange would have to wait his turn to dispute any claims made to the court. The outburst came on the second day of the hearing, which is to continue for another month. (More Julian Assange stories.)

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