14 June 2019 - 23:10
News ID: 445419
A
Britain’s interior minister Sajid Javid has signed an order enabling the country’s legal system to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States where he could face decades in prison for exposing confidential documents.

RNA - Javid told BBC radio on Thursday that he had validated the US request for extraditing Assange, an Australian national who was arrested in London two months ago at the Ecuadorian embassy.

“Yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow. It is ultimately a decision for the courts,” said Javid, adding, “I am very pleased the police were finally able to apprehend him and now he’s rightfully behind bars because he broke UK law.”

The remarks come as Britain’s treatment of Assange has sparked global outrage.

He was transferred to Belmasrh, a notorious prison outside London, after he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy, where he had been holed up for nearly seven years fearing extradition to Sweden and the US.

A UK court has sentenced Assange to nearly a year in prison for skipping his bail in 2012, when he was wanted by Sweden for a case an alleged sexual assault against two women in the country.

Reports from Belmasrh suggest Assange’s health has badly deteriorated up to a point that the 47-year-old was not able to attend an initial hearing on US extradition last month.

Human rights campaigners have criticized UK’s decision to hold Assange in Belmarsh, a high-security prison normally used for high-profile terrorism convicts.

The US Justice Department confirmed on Tuesday that it had formally asked Britain to extradite Assange.

Assange is wanted by the US government for publishing classified documents related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that were leaked by American whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Assange and his supporters have denied the accusations, saying he has carried out his journalistic mission by exposing crimes committed by the US government around the world.

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