Julian Assange extradition papers signed - Javid says decision now with courts


"I want to see justice done and we have a legitimate extradition request".

Sajid Javid has approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States on spying charges, placing the final decision in the hands of the courts.

U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on Thursday that he has signed an order to extradite Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange to the USA, where he faces charges of computer hacking, following a request from the US government.

Unlike the India-U.K. Extradition Treaty, the U.S. -U.K. treaty involves a relatively simpler legal process for extradition as the requesting state does not require to establish an elaborate prima facie case against the accused before the British courts.

The 47-year-old Australian is not expected to attend Friday's hearing but could take part from prison via video link, although it will be largely procedural.

After that, assuming a district judge (full-time professional magistrate) OKs the extradition, Javid himself will make the final decision on whether or not to send the one-time chief WikiLeaker to America, as UK.gov's website explains.

Julian Assange is now serving 50 weeks imprisonment sentence in UK's Belmarsh prison.

"But yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow".

The allegations he faces in the United States include computer misuse and the unauthorized disclosure of national defence information.

The extradition request had been expected ever since us authorities first announced a criminal case against Assange. Some legal experts have said the additional Espionage Act charges might slow or complicate the extradition process to the extent the United Kingdom views them as political offenses and therefore exempt from extradition.

Assange faces an 18-count indictment that accuses him of soliciting and publishing classified information and of conspiring with former Army private Chelsea Manning to crack a Defence Department computer password.

Assange was arrested by British police in April after Ecuadorian officials withdrew his asylum status.

The "first real confrontation of arguments" in court will not be for several weeks or months, Mr Hrafnsson said.

Assange is now serving a 50-week sentence in Belmarsh Prison in south-east London for bail violations after taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to face rape charges in 2012.