London: British Home Secretary Sajid Javid said here on Thursday had signed an extradition request from the US for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “He’s rightly behind bars. There’s an extradition request from the US that will be before the courts tomorrow (Friday), but yesterday (Wednesday) I signed the extradition order and certified it. It will be going in front of the courts tomorrow,” Sajid Javid told BBC Radio 4.
Assange, currently in custody in the UK, is wanted in the US on a score of charges, including espionage. The Australian national is due to appear before a London court on Friday for an extradition hearing to the US, which has accused him of conspiring to intercept Pentagon computers, Efe news reported. In May, a grand jury in Virginia filed 18 new charges against him, including espionage and publication of highly classified documents, which could lead to up to 170 years’ sentence, reports say.
The UK Home office said in a statement Assange was arrested in relation to a provisional extradition request from the US. “He is accused of offences, including computer misuse and the unauthorised disclosure of national defence information,” it said. Assange is contesting his extradition to the US stating that he had a commitment to journalism “that has protected many people”. (IANS)