LONDON (AP) — The British authorities has ordered the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US to face spying expenses. WikiLeaks stated it could enchantment.
Dwelling Secretary Priti Patel signed the extradition order on Friday, her division stated. It follows a British court docket ruling in April that Assange might be despatched to the U.S. over WikiLeaks’ publication of an enormous trove of labeled paperwork greater than a decade in the past.
The Dwelling Workplace stated in a press release that “the U.Ok courts haven’t discovered that it could be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of course of to extradite Mr. Assange.”
“Nor have they discovered that extradition can be incompatible together with his human rights, together with his proper to a good trial and to freedom of expression, and that while within the U.S. he might be handled appropriately, together with in relation to his well being.”
The choice is an enormous second in Assange’s years-long battle to keep away from dealing with trial within the U.S. — although not essentially the tip of the story. Assange has 14 days to enchantment.
The U.S. has requested British authorities to extradite Assange so he can stand trial on 17 expenses of espionage and one cost of laptop misuse. American prosecutors say Assange unlawfully helped U.S. Military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal labeled diplomatic cables and army information that WikiLeaks later revealed, placing lives in danger.
“At the moment isn’t the tip of the struggle. It’s only the start of a brand new authorized battle,” stated Assange’s spouse, Stella Assange. She stated the U.Ok. resolution marked “a darkish day for press freedom and for British democracy.”
“Julian did nothing improper,” she stated. “He has dedicated no crime and isn’t a legal. He’s a journalist and a writer, and he’s being punished for doing his job.”
A British decide authorised the extradition in April, leaving the ultimate resolution to the federal government. The ruling got here after a authorized battle that went all the way in which to the U.Ok. Supreme Courtroom.
Journalism organizations and human rights teams have known as on Britain to refuse the extradition request.
Supporters and attorneys for Assange, 50, argue that he was performing as a journalist and is entitled to First Modification protections of freedom of speech for publishing paperwork that uncovered U.S. army wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. They argue that his case is politically motivated.
Assange’s attorneys say he may resist 175 years in jail if he’s convicted within the U.S., although American authorities have stated any sentence is prone to be a lot decrease than that.
Assange has been held at Britain’s high-security Belmarsh Jail in London since 2019, when he was arrested for skipping bail throughout a separate authorized battle. Earlier than that, he spent seven years contained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to keep away from extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.
Sweden dropped the intercourse crimes investigations in November 2019 as a result of a lot time had elapsed.