UK judge sets February 2020 for WikiLeaks founder Assange's US extradition hearing

WION Web Team London Jun 14, 2019, 04.36 PM(IST)

Photo file on Julian Assange. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Assange, 47, is accused of violating the Espionage Act by releasing a vast trove of classified military and diplomatic files in 2010 about US bombing campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The extradition hearing of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is wanted in the United States on espionage charges, will begin in February, 2020, a British judge said on Friday. 

Assange faces an 18-count charges, issued by the US Justice Department, that includes charges under the Espionage Act.

He is also accused of soliciting and publishing classified information and conspiring to hack into a government computer.

The WikiLeaks founder is currently serving a 50-week prison sentence for violating British bail conditions in 2012.

UK home secretary Sajid Javid on Friday signed a request to extradite WikiLeaks founder to the US.

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.

(With inputs from AFP)