London, Jun 17 (EFE).- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States on espionage charges was approved by the government of the United Kingdom on Friday.
On April 20, a UK court formally approved the extradition of the Australian journalist to the US.
“Under the Extradition Act 2003, the Home Secretary must sign an extradition order if there are no grounds to prohibit the order being made,” the Home Office, led by home secretary Priti Patel, said in a statement.
Assange now has 14 days to appeal, the ministry added.
“In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange,” the statement continued.
“Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”
US authorities have leveled 18 charges against Assange, including computer hacking and espionage, over Wikileak’s decision to publish thousands of leaked military documents in 2010 and 2011.
Assange could face up to 175 years in prison if he is convicted, according to his legal team.
Wikileaks labeled Patel’s decision as a “dark day for press freedom and for British democracy.”
The organization added that Assange would be appealing the move to the High Court.
Assange’s defense could also lean on a last-ditch option by appealing to the European Court of Human Rights. EFE