District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled against the Australian’s application, saying there are “proportionate and sensible” measures to ensure he could talk with his lawyers in private.
She said the 48-year-old is welcome to raise his hand if he can’t hear inside the glass-enclosed dock and she will stop proceedings so he can be taken to the holding cells to speak with his lawyers.
The judge is prepared for regular stoppages even if the hearing stretches out to six weeks.”If that results from the current three weeks for which they are listed to a much longer period then I am very happy to accommodate that,” Judge Baraitser said.
Defence barrister Mark Summers QC earlier argued that defendants are still in custody of the court even if they weren’t physically in the dock.
“So far as the legal position is concerned, it is clear that somebody can be in custody in this room without being in that glass cabinet,” he said.
“One surrenders to the custody of the court even by surrendering to the dock or with the commencement of the hearing.
“One can be in custody even if one is out wandering in the concourse, enjoying the delights of the court canteen.
“He said there was legal precedent for vulnerable defendants, like Assange, to be able to sit alongside their lawyers on the bench.
“What we are seeking is not exceptional treatment or different treatment for anyone facing extradition proceedings,” he said.