The British Home Secretary Priti Patel has signed an extradition order, sending WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange back to the United States where he is wanted for publishing classified documents.
WikiLeaks said Friday was a “dark day” for press freedom and British democracy.
Assange, 50, is wanted in the United States for publishing thousands of diplomatic cables and other sensitive documents in 2010 and 2011 after they were passed to Wikileaks.
In January the High Court in London said Assange could make a final appeal to the UK Supreme Court.
But the Supreme Court said Assange’s lawyers had not raised “an arguable point of law” and refused to hear that appeal, clearing the way for extradition.
Assange, who married his South African girlfriend Stella Moris in November, has argued he will not get a fair trial in the United States. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in jail.
The spokesman added: “On 17 June, following consideration by both the Magistrates Court and High Court, the extradition of Mr. Julian Assange to the US was ordered. Mr. Assange retains the normal 14-day right to appeal. In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr. Assange. Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”
U.S. prosecutors have indicted Assange on 18 criminal charges of breaking an espionage law and conspiring to hack government computers.
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