UK judge rejects bid to delay Assange extradition hearing

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Britain Julian Assange Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth, AP Photo_295591

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

LONDON (AP) – A British judge has rejected a request by lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to delay his extradition hearing until next year to give his lawyers more time to respond to U.S. allegations that he conspired with hackers to obtain classified information.

The move came as Assange appeared in a London court Monday to fight American prosecutors’ attempt to send him to the U.S. to stand trial on spying charges.

The U.S. has indicted the 49-year-old Australian on 18 espionage and computer misuse charges over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret U.S. military documents. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

Assange’s lawyers say the prosecution is a politically motivated abuse of power.

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