British judge sends Wikileaks’ Assange extradition case to Home Secretary

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LONDON – A British judge on Wednesday forwarded Julian Assange’s case to Home Secretary Priti Patel, who will decide whether the Wikileaks founder should be extradited to the United States over the release of confidential US documents.

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The procedural move, in what has been a long-running and high-profile legal battle, was announced at a hearing in central London following a decision in March to deny Australian-born Assange permission to appeal his extradition.

The extradition warrant must now be signed by Patel, after which Assange can try to challenge the decision through judicial review. A judicial review involves a judge examining the legality of the decision of a public body.

Assange, 50, is wanted in the United States on 18 charges, including violating an espionage law, after WikiLeaks published thousands of classified US files in 2010.

Stella Moris, wife of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaks at a protest in support of him outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Photo by Tom NicholsonREUTERS

He denies any wrongdoing.

Assange has been in jail in south-east London since 2019, having previously spent seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in the British capital.

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