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United Kingdom home secretary signs USA extradition request for Julian Assange

13 June 2019

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

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC that the final decision on Mr Assange's extradition would be up to the court.

Yesterday, the United States government has formally submitted an extradition request to the UK for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a U.S. official says.

The treaty further bars the United States from prosecuting Julian Assange for any other crime beyond those outlined in the extradition request.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who presides over a number of high-profile Indian extradition requests including that of liquor baron Vijay Mallya and diamond merchant Nirav Modi, is due to hear the case at its next hearing on Friday.

He said: "It's a decision ultimately for the courts".

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

The 47-year-old Australian national has consistently denied the allegations and his supporters have accused the USA and the United Kingdom governments of an attack on free speech.

"We've got a legitimate extradition request so I've signed it, but the final decision is now with the courts".

"He is accused of offences including computer misuse and the unauthorised disclosure of national defence information".

The WikiLeaks founder is set to face an extradition case management hearing on Friday, which could see him sent to the U.S. to face trial.

At his last hearing a fortnight ago, Assange, 47, was too ill to appear in court, according to his lawyer.

Julian Assange was arrested on April 11 at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

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.

The 18 charges against Mr Assange reject his claim he was simply a publisher receiving leaked material - which would be protected under press freedom legislation.

United Kingdom home secretary signs USA extradition request for Julian Assange