The United Kingdom has signed an extradition order to send Julian Assange to the United States. British Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that Assange was “rightly behind bars”.
“There’s an extradition request from the US that is before the courts … yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it,” he said. However, he added that the final decision on Assange’s extradition would be up to the court, he said.
Earlier, a US Justice Department official confirmed the United States government had formally submitted the extradition request to the UK.
Assange faces an 18-count indictment that accuses him of soliciting and publishing classified information and of conspiring with former Army private Chelsea Manning to crack a Defense Department computer password.
That indictment, which includes Espionage Act charges, was issued by the Justice Department last month and is pending in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, US. The extradition request had been expected ever since US authorities first announced a criminal case against Assange.