Assange Testifies in Court About Being Spied on in Ecuadorian Embassy - Reports

© AP Photo / Frank AugsteinWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen in a prison van traveling to Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. Assange is expected to appear in person before Westminster Magistrates in a private hearing related to a Spanish criminal case about alleged surveillance at the Ecuador embassy
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen in a prison van traveling to Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. Assange is expected to appear in person before Westminster Magistrates in a private hearing related to a Spanish criminal case about alleged surveillance at the Ecuador embassy - Sputnik International
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LONDON (Sputnik) - In October 2019, Judge Jose de la Mata wanted to question the whistleblower via avideo call over claims that a Spanish firm Undercover Global spied on him during his time at the embassy, but the request was blocked by London.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday testified in the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London against Spanish security company Undercover Global S. L., which he claims spied on him on behalf of the United States during his 7-year stay at the Ecuadorian embassy, UK tabloid newspaper Daily Mail reported.

Undercover Global S. L. is accused of collecting data about Assange, his lawyers, visitors, and associates while it worked for the embassy from 2012-2018.

According to the news outlet, Assange, who is also fighting extradition to the United States, claimed in a testimony via video-link that his quarters in the embassy had been bugged.

More than 30 supporters had gathered at the court's main entrance with banners calling for Assange's release, as Sputnik correspondent reported.

Assange asked Ecuador for asylum in 2012 after the Swedish authorities brought rape charges against him, and had resided in the Ecuadorian embassy in London until 2019. In April, the embassy opened its doors to the UK police, who promptly entered the building and arrested the WikiLeaks founder. He was eventually sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail conditions back in 2012.

At Westminster Magistrates Court - Sputnik International
Assange Supporters Gather Outside Westminster Court Ahead of Extradition Hearing - Photo

In May, the US Department of Justice indicted Assange on 17 charges under the Espionage Age and demanded his extradition. If convicted of these charges, the WikiLeaks founder faces up to 175 years in prison. Then-UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid approved the extradition request, stating that he did not believe Assange would face death or torture if extradited.

The US Espionage Act makes it a crime to spread information that would interfere with US military operations during wartime or help the US’ enemies.

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