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Julian Assange: UK Foreign Secretary Javid signs WikiLeaks founder's US extradition papers 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi Jun 13, 2019, 03.02 PM (IST)

UK home secretary, Sajid Javid, on Friday said that he had signed a request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US where he faces charges of computer hacking.

Speaking on the Today Programme on Thursday, 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.”

A decision on Assange, who is currently in UK jail, is now with the UK court. 

Assange faces an 18-count charges, issued by the US Justice Department, that includes charges under the Espionage Act. He is accused of soliciting and publishing classified information and conspiring to hack into a government computer.

US and British security sources said US prosecutors sent the formal extradition request to UK authorities last week, shortly before the expiration of a legal deadline. The formal submission of the request was first reported on Tuesday by the Washington Post.

On April 11, police forcibly removed the WikiLeaks founder from the Ecuadorean Embassy near Harrods department store in central London. Assange took refuge in the embassy there in 2012 while being sought by Swedish authorities for questioning in a sexual assault investigation.