UK approves WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to U.S.

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain.

Henry Nicholls | Reuters

The UK has approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US, where he is wanted over the publication of hundreds of thousands of classified military documents and diplomatic cables.

The deportation was approved Friday by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel following a series of failed legal battles in the UK courts. However, a number of appeal routes remain open to Assange, who has 14 days to appeal the decision.

Assange is wanted by US authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge, relating to WikiLeaks’ release in 2010 of vast troves of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables, which they claim had put lives in danger.

“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,” a UK Home Office spokesperson said.

“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.”

This is a breaking story and will be updated shortly.

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