US extradition request for Julian Assange signed by Sajid Javid as Wikileaks founder faces 175 years in jail

JULIAN Assange is on the brink of being extradited to the US where he faces 175 years behind bars.

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed he had signed the request yesterday – with the matter to now go before the courts tomorrow.

Julian Assange gives the thumbs up after leaving the Ecuadorian embassy - and now faces extradition to the US
PA:Press Association

Julian Assange gives the thumbs up after leaving the Ecuadorian embassy – and now faces extradition to the US[/caption]

Assange, 47, is facing charges of computer hacking and disclosing classified documents in what has been described as “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States”.

If found guilty, he faces up to 175 years in jail. 

He is currently behind bars in the UK, serving 11 months for breaching bail for hiding in the Ecuador embassy.

Mr Javid said: “He’s rightly behind bars. There’s an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow.”

He added: “It is a decision ultimately for the courts, but there is a very important part of it for the home secretary and I want to see justice done at all times and we’ve got a legitimate extradition request, so I’ve signed it, but the final decision is now with the courts.”

Assange has been attempted to block extradition to the United States on charges of computer hacking and disclosing classified documents.

And he was charged with a raft of new allegations, including conspiring with Chelsea Manning to obtain and disclose classified national defence documents in 2010.

It comes after a court ruled Julian Assange cannot be extradited to Sweden to face rape charges.

The ruling doesn’t mean a preliminary investigation in Sweden is to be abandoned, only that the 47-year-old Assange shouldn’t be extradited and could be questioned in Britain.

In April, Assange was evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he had been holed up claiming political asylum since 2012.

Assange was then immediately arrested by British police on April 11 and is currently serving a 50-week sentence in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.

The 47-year-old’s father John Shipton arrived at the prison with Chinese activist Ai Weiwei yesterday afternoon.

Britain's Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he had signed off the request yesterday
Britain’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he had signed off the request yesterday
AFP
Assange faces a string of charges described as one of the largest compromises of confidential US information in history
Assange faces a string of charges described as one of the largest compromises of confidential US information in history
EPA

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