UK Signs Julian Assange’s US Extradition Papers

The United Kingdom has signed an extradition request for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faces charges in the U.S. under the Espionage Act.

UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he signed the papers on Wednesday, a day after the U.S. Justice Department formally asked Britain to extradite the 47-year-old Australian.

“First of all I am very pleased the police were able to apprehend him and now he is rightly behind bars because he broke UK law,” Javid told BBC Radio 4 on Thursday.

“There is an extradition request from the U.S. 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,” he added.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures from the window of a prison van as he is driven out of Southwark Crown Court in London on May 1, 2019. (Daniel Leol-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. will detail all charges against Assange on Friday, when it seeks his extradition in a London court.

U.S. prosecutors initially charged Assange with a single count of computer intrusion, but last month added 17 new counts, including controversial charges under the Espionage Act for encouraging, receiving and publishing national defense information in concert with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Such a charge under the Espionage Act has never been successfully prosecuted, according to CNN legal analyst Steve Vladeck.

Julian Assange speaks to the media from the balcony of the Embassy Of Ecuador in London, England on May 19, 2017. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Assange’s initial indictment sparked a debate over the First Amendment and whether his alleged role in procuring secret U.S. material constituted protected journalistic activity.

Assange lived inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven years until April when the country revoked his protection and he was arrested.

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Author: Wire Service Content