Britain approves extradition of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange to US

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British police scuffle with protesters in London. File

Gulf Today Report

British authorities have approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, according to Reuters.

Assange will face criminal charges in the US, bringing his long legal saga one step closer to a conclusion.  

British Home Secretary Priti Patel approved the extradition request on Friday.

Assange is wanted by the United States authority over 18 counts, including an espionage charge, related to WikiLeaks’ disclosure of vast US confidential military documents and diplomatic cables, which they claimed had endangered human lives.

His supporters claim he is an anti-establishment hero who was victimized because he exposed the United States’ wrongdoing in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that his accusation is a politically motivated attack on journalism and freedom of expression.

“On June 17, following consideration by the Magistrates Court and the High Court, the extradition of Mr Julian Assange to the United States was ordered. Assange retains the normal 14-day right of appeal,” the Home Office said in a statement.

Patel’s decision does not mean the end of Australia’s Assange legal battle that has been going on for more than a decade.

He can appeal to the High Court in London which must give its approval for the appeal to proceed.

He can possibly ask to take his case to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

But if an appeal is rejected, Assange must be extradited within 28 days.

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