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UK government approves extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to US; appeal possible

LONDON (AP) – The British government has ordered the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges. It is possible to appeal.

Home Secretary Pretty Patel signed the extradition order on Friday, her department said. Following a British court ruling in April that Assange could be extradited to the United States

The Home Office said in a statement that “UK courts have not ruled that Mr Assange’s extradition would be oppressive, unfair or abusive.”

“Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and freedom of expression, and that while in the United States he would receive appropriate treatment, including in relation to his health.”

The decision is a major milestone in Assange’s years-long battle to avoid a US trial – though not necessarily the end of the story. Assange has 14 days to appeal.

A British judge upheld the extradition in April, leaving the final decision to the government. The decision came after a legal battle that reached the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

The United States has asked the British authorities to extradite Assange to stand trial on 17 counts of espionage and one count of computer abuse over WikiLeaks’ publication of a vast treasure trove of classified documents a decade ago. U.S. prosecutors say Assange illegally aided U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in stealing secret diplomatic telegrams and military files later released by WikiLeaks, endangering lives.

Journalists and human rights groups have called on Britain to reject the extradition request.

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. They claim that his case has political motives.

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 lower.

Assange has been held in Britain’s Belmarsh High Security Prison in London since 2019, when he was arrested on bail during a separate court battle. Prior to that, he spent seven years at Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden to face charges of rape and sexual assault.

Sweden stopped investigating sex crimes in November 2019 because so much time had passed.

Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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UK government approves extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to US; appeal possible Source link UK government approves extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to US; appeal possible

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