Published: Thu, June 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Julian Assange to be extradited to United States after Sajid Javid signs order

Julian Assange to be extradited to United States after Sajid Javid signs order

The home secretary has signed an extradition request for Julian Assange, bringing the Wikileaks founder a step closer to facing charges in the United States. The Australian journalist is now serving a 50-week prison sentence in the United Kingdom for jumping bail.

Extradition orders by the USA and certain other countries need to be rubber-stamped by the home secretary - so long as they meet the necessary criteria - before they can be considered by a court.

It should be noted that according to a US-UK treaty, the extradition request must be made within 60 days of an arrest. "I want to see justice done and we have a legitimate extradition request".

The WikiLeaks founder is set to face an extradition case management hearing on Friday, which could see him sent to the USA to face trial.

Assange faces an 18-count indictment that accuses him of soliciting and publishing classified information and of conspiring with former Army private Chelsea Manning to crack a Defense Department computer password.

Assange is serving a 50-week prison sentence after being dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in April and jailed for a bail violation.

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces a rape allegation.

London's High Court ruled he should be extradited in March 2011. "He is accused of offences including computer misuse and the unauthorised disclosure of national defence information".

When Assange fled to the Ecuadorean embassy, he said he feared he would be ultimately extradited to the United States where he had caused anger by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret US diplomatic cables.

Javid's certification simply means the extradition request is a valid one but it will be for a judge to decide whether Assange can be sent to the United States, taking into account issues such as whether it would breach his human rights.

It also published thousands of entirely unredacted U.S. diplomatic cables, exposing the nation's foreign policy workings and causing it severe embarrassment in the process.

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