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Julian Assange misses court hearing, WikiLeaks says he is ill

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By Associated Press  with NBC News World News
Image: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves Southwark Crown Court after
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves Southwark Crown Court after being sentenced in London, Britain, May 1, 2019.   -   Copyright  Henry Nicholls

LONDON — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has missed a court session, apparently due to health problems.

Assange had been expected to appear from prison via video link at a brief extradition hearing Thursday at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

He is in Belmarsh prison serving time for jumping bail in Britain while fighting extraditionto the United States, which accuses him of violating the Espionage Act by publishing secret documents containing the names of confidential military and diplomatic sources.

Sweden also seeks him for question about an alleged rape.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot said a more substantive extradition hearing set for June 12 may be moved to a court next to Belmarsh prison for convenience.

WikiLeaks says it has "grave concerns" about Assange's health. The anti-secrecy group says he has been moved to the prison health ward.