The extradition case of WikiLeaks' co-founder Julian Assange will be heard in February 2020, a British court said on Monday, denying a request for a delay.
The 48-year-old Australian is set to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court for a case management hearing.
But Assange mumbled and stuttered for several seconds as he gave his name and date of birth at the start of a preliminary hearing in the case.
Outside the courthouse, scores of his defenders - including former London Mayor Ken Livingstone - carried placards calling for Assange to be released.
After the judge turned down the bid for a three-month delay, Assange said he didn't understand the events in court.
"Our case will be that this is a political attempt to signal to journalists the consequences of publishing information", he said. "It is legally unprecedented", he told the court.
He also reiterated that there was no question about the legality of Assange's actions, accusing the Australian of knowingly risking the torture, death or arbitrary detention of United States informants.
Assange's barrister Mark Summers QC said Assange can not be extradited for political offences.
Assange is now serving a 50-week sentence in London's Belmarsh prison over violating his bail conditions.
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"The American state had been actively engaged in intruding into privileged discussions between Mr Assange and his lawyers in the embassy, also unlawful copying of their telephones and computers (and) hooded men breaking into offices", Summers said.
He said: "I can't research anything, I can't access any of my writing".
"These people have unlimited resources".
"Not really. I can't think properly", he mumbled, before adding that the U.S. government had an unfair advantage in the case, and accused them of stealing his children's DNA.
He also accused the USA of illegally spying on Assange while he was inside the Ecuadorian Embassy seeking refuge. USA authorities accuse Assange of scheming with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break a password for a classified government computer.
Then-Home Secretary Sajid David signed an order in June allowing Mr Assange to be extradited to the USA over the computer-hacking allegations. He appears to have lost weight but looked healthy, although he spoke very softly and at times seemed despondent and confused.
"The decision of the prison authorities to move him into the health ward speaks for itself".
If Assange is sent back to the USA, he could face up to 175 years in prison on more than a dozen charges related to WikiLeaks' publication of classified documents that exposed American war crimes and other state secrets.
"The UK must abide by its obligations under global human rights law that forbids the transfer of individuals to another country where they would face serious human rights violations".