British court orders Julian Assange’s extradition to U.S.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

April 20 (UPI) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may soon be extradited to the United States to face espionage charges following the Westminster Magistrates’ Court’s formal order issued Wednesday.

It will be up to the United Kingdom’s home secretary, Priti Patel, to approve the order to extradite Assange, and there’s a possibility of an appeal further delaying his extradition.

The 50-year-old is wanted in the United States on espionage charges after publishing thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars from 2010 and 2011.

At a 7-minute hearing at the British court on Wednesday — during which Assange was not physically present — chief magistrate Paul Goldspring issued the order, saying, “In layman’s terms, I am duty bound to send your case to the secretary of state for a decision,” Sky News reported.

Assange watched the proceedings virtually from London’s Belmarsh Prison, where he’s been imprisoned for three years.

Last month, the Supreme Court in the Britain denied his appeal against being extradited.

Assange had attempted to challenge the high court’s judgment from December.

It ruled he could be extradited to the United States after authorities preparing to imprison him offered assurances about the conditions of his prison stay.

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