UK Home Secretary Favors Assange Extradition on US Warrant

Kristinn Hrafnnson, Wikileaks editor in chief, speaks to the press at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on May 2, 2019, ahead of a hearing where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared by video link from prison. Assange is facing a U.S. request to extradite him for alleged computer hacking. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

LONDON (AP) — British Home Secretary Sajid Javid says he has signed an extradition order that would send imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States if British courts favor the move.

Javid told BBC radio Thursday courts will decide whether Assange must face espionage charges in the U.S.

Assange is scheduled to face an extradition hearing Friday on the U.S. request. A decision is likely months away.

He is serving a 50-week sentence in London’s Belmarsh Prison for jumping bail in Britain.

The 47-year-old was too ill to take part in a recent hearing. He is expected to participate in Friday’s proceeding via video link.

The U.S. plan to prosecute Assange for espionage has raised free speech issues. Assange asserts he is a journalist shielded by the First Amendment.

%d bloggers like this: