UK closer to extraditing Assange to US following court ruling

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UK closer to extraditing Assange to US following court ruling

Robert Besser
22 Apr 2022, 21:56 GMT+10

  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been ordered to be extradited to the U.S. by a London court this week
  • The order was issued by Judge Vanessa Baraitser of the Westminster Magistrates’ Court
  • Assange faces over 170 years in prison if the 18 criminal charges, filed under the U.S. 1917 Espionage Act

LONDON, England: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been ordered to be extradited to the U.S. by a London court.

The order was issued by Judge Vanessa Baraitser of the Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Assange faces over 170 years in prison if the 18 criminal charges, filed under the U.S. 1917 Espionage Act, for Wikileaks’ publication of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables and files in 2010, are proven.

Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. Army private who leaked the documents, had his sentence commuted by President Obama.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel will make the final decision over Assange’s extradition.

The U.K. Supreme Court has rejected Assange’s requests for an appeal, and the U.S. Department of Justice stated that its “pursuit of extradition remains unchanged.”

After taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012, Ecuador revoked Assange’s asylum and citizenship in 2019. Footage of Assange forcibly dragged by British police out of the embassy went viral.

Since then, he has been imprisoned at Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh in London.
During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, WikiLeaks published emails revealing that the Democratic National Committee had favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary election, and revealed John Podesta’s emails containing extracts of Clinton’s paid speeches to corporate and banking clients.

Assange has not been charged for these leaks.

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