Sajid Javid signs US extradition request for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange – where he faces up to 175 years in prison for ‘leaking military secrets’
A request to extradite Julian Assange from the UK to the U.S. has been signed by the British Home Secretary, it emerged today.
Sajid Javid said he signed the request ahead of court hearing tomorrow, making it increasingly likely Assange will be sent to the U.S. to stand trial for hacking classified information, than Sweden, where he is being investigated over an alleged sex attack.
Assange is wanted across the Atlantic for what U.S. officials call ‘one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States’.
If found guilty of all the charges against him, the Wikileaks founder could be jailed for 175 years.
An extradition request to take Julian Assange (pictured on his way to prison in April) to the U.S. has been signed by the British Home Secretary, meaning he is one step closer to being sent to the United States for trial
Sajid Javid, pictured pitching to become UK Prime Minister yesterday, has signed the extradition request, which is one more step along the road of sending Assange to the U.S.
Mr Javid told Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘He’s 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.
He added: ‘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.’
Assange is currently being held in high-security Belmarsh prison after he was jailed for 50 weeks by a UK court for breach his bail by hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy.
In the U.S., he faces an 18-count indictment including charges of soliciting and publishing classified information and conspiring with former Army private Chelsea Manning to crack a Defense Department computer password.