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US extradition order signed for WikiLeaks’ Assange

Julian Assange. (Cancillería del Ecuador/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has told the BBC that he has signed an extradition order to send WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States.

Javid said the final decision on Assange’s extradition would be made on June 14 in a British court.

Assange faces an 18-count indictment in the United States that accuses him of soliciting and publishing classified information and conspiring with former U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning to crack the password of a U.S. Defense Department computer.

The indictment, issued by the U.S. Justice Department in May, includes charges under the Espionage Act.

The 47-year-old Assange was evicted on April 11 from the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, where he had been sheltering since 2012 after Ecuador granted him political asylum.

He was arrested by British police and is currently serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail.

Sweden had also sought him for questioning about an alleged rape, which Assange has denied.