The British home secretary has signed an extradition order clearing the way for the WikiLeaks founder to be sent to face trial in the US.
The British home secretary, Sajid Javid, announced on Thursday he has signed a request for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be extradited to the US, where he faces numerous charges for violating the Espionage Act.
Talking to the BBC’s Today Programme, Javid said Assange was “rightly” behind bars.
“There’s an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow,” the home secretary said.
Javid’s decision means the courts can now send Assange to the US, where he faces an 18-count indictment including conspiring to hack into a government computer, and soliciting and publishing secret documents.
“It is a decision ultimately for the courts, but there is a very important part of it for the home secretary and I want to see justice done at all times and we’ve got a legitimate extradition request, so I’ve signed it, but the final decision is now with the courts,” Javid added.
The US Justice Department confirmed on Tuesday that it had submitted a formal extradition request.
US authorities will detail all the charges against Assange at a hearing on the extradition in London on Friday, the editor of WikiLeaks said on Tuesday.
The 47-year-old Australian is not expected to attend Friday’s hearing but could take part from prison via video link, although it will be largely procedural. Assange was too ill to attend last month’s hearing at at Westminster magistrates court.Int’l Partners Hail Liberians Over “Peaceful” June 7 Assembly