UK Approves US Request For Julian Assange's Extradition

Lester Mason
June 13, 2019

Javid's certifying of the United States extradition request lodged this week is the first formal step in having Assange sent across the pond.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the U.K.'s top diplomat said he would not stand in the way of Assange's extradition, telling CBS' "Face the Nation" recently that he had no sympathy for the 47-year-old.

Britain's interior minister said Thursday he had certified the USA request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on espionage grounds in a procedural move that opens the way for a court battle.

The case has upset some USA and other world media, which argue that Assange's activities differ very little from their own.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who presides over a number of high-profile Indian extradition requests including that of liquor baron Vijay Mallya and diamond merchant Nirav Modi, is due to hear the case at its next hearing on Friday.

It emerged last week that plans for an extradition request from Sweden over allegations of sexual attacks in the country had suffered a setback as a Swedish district court ruled against Mr. Assange's detention.

The extradition request had been expected ever since USA authorities first announced a criminal case against Mr Assange. He was arrested by British police and is now serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail.

The senior Pakistani-origin minister said the final decision now lies with the United Kingdom courts to analyse if the case meets all the tests required for Mr. Assange's extradition to the U.S.

Mr 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.

The US Justice Department confirmed on Tuesday that it had submitted a formal extradition request.

It should be noted that according to a US-UK treaty, the extradition request must be made within 60 days of an arrest.

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

When the decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2012, Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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