WikiLeaks founder risk 175 yrs in jail after UK okays extradition
WikiLeaks found Julian Assange could face up to 175 years in jail after the United Kingdom’s government approved his extradition to the United States.
The decision by British Home Secretary Priti Patel brings to an end a long-running legal saga closer to a conclusion.
Assange who has been living abroad is wanted by US authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge and the US’s role in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to Aljazeera.
The WikiLeaks’ founder leaked a trove of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables about the US government.
Assange’s impending prosecution is viewed by his supporters as politically instigated and an assault on journalism and free speech.
“In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange,” read a statement by the UK’s Home Office.
Even though the extradition has since been approved, Assange could still appeal the decision.
“Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including his health,” the statement.
WikiLeaks confirmed that they will appeal the UK’s decision.
If the appeal doesn’t go through, then Assange, an Australian-born, will be extradited to the US in the next 28 days from June 17. He might face up to 175 years in jail.
The latest development comes in the backdrop of an earlier ruling by a British judge that Assange should not be deported. The judge cited his mental health problems adding that he would be at risk of suicide if convicted and held in a maximum-security prison, Aljazeera reported.