JULIAN Assange suffers from hallucinations that include voices telling him “we’re coming to get you”, a psychiatrist says.
Prof Michael Kopelman told an extradition court the WikiLeaks founder was at a “high risk” of suicide, having made preparations including confessing to a priest.
Assange, 49, is fighting extradition to the US, where he faces allegations of a computer hacking plot and conspiracy to disclose national defence information.
Professor Kopelman told the court that he has visited Assange some 20 times in high-security Belmarsh prison, where he he is being held.
The emeritus professor of neuropsychiatry at King's College London, said: "He reported auditory hallucinations, which were voices either inside or outside his head, somatic hallucinations, funny bodily experiences, these have now disappeared.
"He also has a long history of musical hallucinations, which is maybe a separate phenomenon, that got worse when he was in prison.
"The voices are things like, 'you are dust, you are dead, we are coming to get you'. They are derogatory and persecutory."
The professor said the combination of Assange's depression and autism spectrum disorder has caused an "almost obsessional rumination" on the topic of his extradition.
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Prof Kopelman told the Old Bailey Assange also has genetic depression.
He said Assange is taking medication and has suffered physical symptoms, including a loss of appetite and problems with sleep.
The hearing continues.
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