Julian Assange has attended court in London for the first of a two-day hearing to decide whether he should be extradited to Sweden.
The WikiLeaks founder is wanted over claims he sexually assaulted one woman and raped another on a visit to Stockholm last August. Claims he denies.
“A black box has been applied to my life. On the outside of that black box has been written the word rape. And I hope over the next day we will see that that box is in fact empty.” Assange told reporters outside.
The 39-year-old Australian’s legal team say extradition would breach his human rights.
They argue he could ultimately be taken to the US detention camp at Guantanamo and risks the death penalty.
The media interest in Julian Assange is still intense.
There were chaotic scenes at court as dozens of journalists turned up to cover the case.
All seats inside were reserved weeks ago by supporters and human rights campaigners and a long queue formed.
A temporary annexe was built to house the overflow.
Those who could not get in waited outside.