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UK minister signs US bid to extradite Assange

UK minister signs US bid to extradite Assange

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange is due before a London court on Friday, facing the next stage of a US attempt to try him on spying charges after Britain's interior minister said he had validated the American extradition request.

US prosecutors initially charged Assange with a single count of computer intrusion, but last month added 17 new counts, including controversial charges under the Espionage Act for encouraging, receiving and publishing national defense information in concert with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is one step closer to being extradited to the U.S. from the United Kingdom over charges of conspiring to hack government computers.

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

U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that he had signed the extradition papers, just one day after the Department of Justice asked Britain to extradite Assange, CNN reported. "I want to see justice done and we have a legitimate extradition request", Mr Javid said.

Swedish prosecutors are also seeking to issue a new European arrest warrant to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden.

NYC helicopter crash: See videos and photos from the scare in Manhattan
The mayor said the cause was unknown but that there was no indication that the crash was an "act of terrorism". The FDNY confirmed on Twitter that they were operating at the scene in Manhattan following a crash landing.

Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison on May 1 after he was found guilty of breaching bail conditions related to an earlier extradition request from Sweden, which had wanted him to answer allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Extradition lawyer Thomas Garner, from Gherson Solicitors, said today: 'I would expect the court to set a preliminary timetable for the extradition process tomorrow.

Mr Assange is now serving a 50-week sentence for skipping bail in 2012 and fleeing to the Ecuadorean embassy, where he stayed for almost seven years.

Failing to support Assange now will have disastrous consequences for journalism and all who profess to hold progressive values, Galloway warned.

The 47-year-old was due to appear before Westminister Magistrates' Court via video-link on May 30, but was too unwell.

The charges against Assange in the U.S. Assange declined to consent to be extradite, suggesting he is planning to appeal any decision against him. The history of Assange's case suggests this is likely if the case gets this far.


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