British Home Secretary signs Julian Assange’s USA extradition papers


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

Assange will face charges that he conspired to hack government computers and violated an espionage law.

"There's an extradition request from the USA that is before the courts tomorrow, but yesterday I ... certified it", he added.

Mr Javid said he signed the order on Wednesday but that the final decision now rested with the courts.

However, on April 11 this year, when Assange was arrested, Swedish prosecutors said the alleged victim's lawyer had demanded for the investigation to be reopened.

Julian Assange's extradition to the United States would be a deathblow for all truth seekers, George Galloway told RT, warning that anyone who fails to support Assange will one day share the same fate as the persecuted Wikileaks co-founder.

Assange, 47, who is serving a 50-week sentence in London's Belmarsh Prison for jumping bail in Britain, is scheduled to face an extradition hearing Friday on the U.S. request.

Certifying the request is the first stage of the extradition process, which will now move to the Westminster Magistrates Court.

Asked about what would happen if Assange is ultimately extradited, Galloway said that the consequences for allowing such an injustice would be devastating.

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

A journalists union in his native Australia has called on the government to defend Assange.

USA has accused Julian Assange of violating the Espionage Act by publishing military and diplomatic files.

The US Justice Department confirmed on Tuesday that it had submitted a formal extradition request.

The WikiLeaks founder is due to appear via video link before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday for a case management hearing after the United States requested his extradition.

The secretary then decides whether to order an extradition.

The charges reject his claim that he was simply a publisher receiving leaked material, which would be protected under the First Amendment.