Britain approves Julian Assange extradition to U.S.; WikiLeaks founder can appeal
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited from the U.K. to the U.S. to face charges for allegedly breaking espionage laws, Britain's Home Office has said.
LONDON — The British government approved Julian Assange's extradition to the United States on Friday, a decisive step toward the WikiLeaks founder facing trial on espionage charges.
The Home Office said in a statement that the extradition order for Assange had been signed, giving him 14 days to appeal the decision.
The WikiLeaks founder has been waging a yearslong legal battle to avoid being sent to the U.S. to face trial on 18 charges, including breaking espionage laws. He has spent the past three years in London’s Belmarsh prison waiting to find out whether he will be extradited.
“In this case, the U.K. courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr. Assange," a Home Office spokesperson said. "Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights.”
A decision on whether to extradite Assange had been anticipated from Home Secretary Priti Patel after a British court ruling in April that he could be sent to the U.S.