LONDON — The British government has approved the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges.
Assange now has 14 days to appeal the district judge’s decision and the Secretary of State’s decision to order the extradition.
Assange has consistently denied any wrongdoing and an appeal is likely.
“Under the Extradition Act 2003, the Secretary of State must sign an extradition order if there are no grounds for barring the order,” the Home Office said. UK in a statement following the decision. “Extradition requests are only sent to the Home Office Secretary once a judge decides they can proceed after considering various aspects of the case. On June 17, after review by the Magistrates Court and the High Court, the extradition of Mr. Julian Assange to the United States has been ordered. Mr. Assange retains the normal 14-day right of appeal.”
According to the UK Home Office, all extradition requests from countries outside Europe are sent to Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The court then hears the arguments of both parties before making a decision on extradition.
“In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unfair or an abuse of process to extradite Mr. Assange,” the UK Home Office continued. “Nor have they concluded that extradition would be inconsistent with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and freedom of expression, and that while he is in the United States he will be treated as appropriate manner, including with regard to his health.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.