Formally Asks UK to Extradite WikiLeaks' Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Westminster Magistrates Court after he was arrested in London Britain

He also faces an extradition request from the U.S. on allegations of spying.

Just a few hours before that hearing, WikiLeaks said it had "grave concerns about the state of health of our publisher, Julian Assange, who has been moved to the health ward of Belmarsh prison".

The Justice Department has formally asked Britain to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face a raft of charges related to his release of a massive trove of secret diplomatic cables and war logs, a US official said on Tuesday.

But a Swedish judge shot down the chances of his being extradited to that country, rejecting a request in early June to issue an arrest order.

Mr. Assange, 47, is wanted in the USA on charges relating to WikiLeaks's publication of thousands of military files in 2010, including reports of atrocities by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Under an extradition treaty with the United Kingdom, the USA had 60 days from the date of Assange's April 11 arrest in London to file a formal request for his handover. The formal submission of the request was first reported on Tuesday by the Washington Post.

Sajid Javid signs request for Assange to be extradited to US
Swedish prosecutors had dropped their rape investigation in 2017 but reopened it after Ecuador withdrew its offer of asylum to Mr. The "first real confrontation of arguments" in court will not be for several weeks or months, Mr Hrafnsson said.

Federal prosecutors have subsequently unsealed indictments charging Mr. Assange with a total of 18 felony counts, including mostly violations of the U.S. Espionage Act related to his alleged solicitation and publication of classified military and diplomatic material.

Aside from the US, Assange is also wanted by Sweden, after a case accusing him of non-consensual sex was recently reopened.

Julian Assange, pictured leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy on April 11, is facing possible extradition to the United States where officials want to charge him for leaking secrets.

Assange was initially charged in the U.S. with a single count of computer intrusion over his work with whistleblower Chelsea Manning. That is because the U.S. -U.K. treaty prohibits extradition for the specific charges Assange faces. She faces potential daily fines if she continues to refuse to testify. A Swedish court ruled last week that Assange should not be extradited to Sweden but should still be questioned in the case while he is imprisoned in Britain. The WikiLeaks founder was then sentenced to 50 weeks in prison by a court in London for violating bail conditions after spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy.

A department spokesperson told The Washington Times that the US submitted its request to the United Kingdom government for the extradition of Mr. Assange ahead of a deadline this week to do so.

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