After seven years in the United Kingdom, British authorities have ordered Julian Assange to be extradited to America for trial over his infamous leaks of classified U.S. intel related to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010.
Assange sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, where he was granted amnesty. He was effectively confined to the embassy for seven years until Ecuadorian authorities revoked his status in 2019, allowing British authorities to arrest him.
In 2020, Assange was indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. on 18 charges. Seventeen of these charges are under the Espionage Act.
The British government on Friday ordered the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face spying charges, a milestone - but not the end - of a decade-long legal saga sparked by his website's publication of classified U.S. documents.
WikiLeaks said it would challenge the order, and Assange's lawyers have 14 days to lodge an appeal.
"We're not at the end of the road here," Assange's wife, Stella Assange, said. "We're going to fight this."
Julian Assange has battled in British courts for years to avoid being sent to the U.S., where he faces 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse.
American prosecutors say the Australian citizen helped U.S. Army intelligence analyst [Bradley] Manning steal classified diplomatic cables and military files that WikiLeaks later published, putting lives at risk.
To his supporters, Assange, 50, is a secrecy-busting journalist who exposed U.S. military wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Here was the response from WikiLeaks:
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