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UK govt orders Julian Assange's extradition; appeal planned

Julian Assange
Posted at 7:35 AM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 11:07:28-04

LONDON (AP) — The British government has approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face spying charges.

The government said Friday that Home Secretary Priti Patel had signed the extradition order following a British court's ruling that Assange could be sent to the U.S.

American prosecutors say the 50-year-old Australian citizen helped U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal classified documents and put lives at risk when Wikileaks published them.

To his supporters, Assange is a secrecy-busting journalist who exposed U.S. military wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Friday's order is not the end of his effort to avoid extradition. He has 14 days to challenge it. Assange plans to file his appeal within that timeframe.

Assange has been serving time in a British prison since 2019 when he was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.