Julian Assange’s extradition to U.S. approved by British government

The British government has ordered the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges. He is likely to appeal.

On Friday, Home Secretary Priti Patel signed the extradition order, her department said. This follows a UK court ruling in April that Assange could be sent to the US

The Home Office said in a statement that “the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unfair or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange.

“Nor have they concluded that extradition would be inconsistent with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and freedom of expression, and that while he is in the United States he will be treated as appropriate manner, including with respect to his health.”

The ruling is a big moment in Assange’s years-long battle to avoid trial in the United States – but not necessarily the end of the story.

Assange has 14 days to appeal.

“Today is not the end of the fight. It is only the beginning of a new legal battle,” said Assange’s wife, Stella Assange. She said the UK decision marked “a dark day for press freedom and for British democracy”.

“Julian did nothing wrong,” she said. “He has committed no crime and is not a criminal. He is a journalist and publisher, and he is being punished for doing his job.”

The decision follows the judge’s decision

A British judge approved the extradition in April, leaving the final decision to the government. The decision came after a legal battle that went all the way to the UK Supreme Court.

The US has asked UK authorities to extradite Assange so he can stand trial on 17 espionage charges and one computer misuse charge for WikiLeaks’ release of a huge trove of classified documents he more than ten years ago. US prosecutors allege Assange illegally helped US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal diplomatic cables and classified military files which WikiLeaks later released, putting lives at risk.

WATCH | Assange’s extradition saga comes to an end:

Julian Assange set to be extradited to US

A British judge has officially approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges. The case will now go to the UK Home Secretary for decision.

Journalism organizations and human rights groups have called on Britain to refuse the extradition request.

Supporters and lawyers of Assange, 50, argue he was acting as a journalist and is entitled to First Amendment free speech protections for publishing material that exposed the wrongdoings of the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. They argue that his case is politically motivated.

Assange’s lawyers say he could face up to 175 years in prison if convicted in the United States, although US authorities have said any sentence is likely to be much less than that.

Assange has been held in Britain’s high-security Belmarsh prison in London since 2019, when he was arrested for skipping bail in a separate legal battle. Prior to that, he spent seven years inside Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Sweden dropped sex crime investigations in November 2019 because too much time had passed.

front burner21:43US spy trial looms against Julian Assange

In 2010, Julian Assange uploaded hundreds of thousands of US intelligence documents to WikiLeaks, the website he co-founded. Twelve years, a series of allegations in the United States and Sweden, and an extended stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London later, a British judge has now approved his extradition to the United States to face charges. espionage charges. The order was sent to the UK Home Secretary for final approval. Today, Guardian journalist Ben Quinn joins us in explaining how the UK courts arrived at this order, what recourse remains for Assange and the chilling precedent his supporters fear an extradition will set.

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