But Judge Snow called it “unacceptable” for Walker to air the claim in front of a “packed press gallery”. He told the court: “This is grossly unfair and improper to do it just to ruin the reputation of a senior and able judge in front of the press.
“He [Assange] has chosen not to give evidence, he has chosen to make assertions about a senior judge not having the courage to place himself before the court for the purpose of cross-examination.
“Those assertions made through counsel are not evidence as a matter of law. I find they are not capable of amounting to a reasonable excuse.”
Police arrived at the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge at about 9.15 on Thursday morning and were met by the ambassador, the court heard.
“He was in fact lifted into the police van outside the embassy and taken to West End Central police station.”
While Assange waited for his legal team to arrive in court for the afternoon hearing, he sat in the dock reading Gore Vidal’s History of the National Security State. The bearded WikiLeaks founder, whose grey hair was tied back, also waved and gave a thumbs up to a supporter in the public gallery wearing a yellow vest.