Crime & Justice

Australia won’t challenge Assange’s extradition to US

Sydney, Australia, Apr 21 (EFE).- Australia Thursday said it would not challenge an order by a United Kingdom court to extradite Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges.

“We have confidence in the independence and integrity of the British justice system,” Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told public broadcaster ABC.

His remarks come a day after the chief judge of the Westminster Magistrates Court, Paul Golspring, issued an order for the Australian-born’s extradition.

The order has been sent to the British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, who must take the final decision on the extradition over a two-month period that can be extended.

Patel’s decision may be appealed by Assange’s lawyers, who can also appeal to the European Court of Human Rights as a last resort.

Assange faces 18 charges, including computer espionage and intrusion pertaining to Wikileaks publication of confidential information in 2010 and 2011 relating to the Guantanamo Bay detention center and alleged war crimes carried out by US military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The 50-year-old former hacker, whose website also revealed hundreds of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables that embarrassed governments around the world, faces 175 years in prison in the US.

Assange’s legal battle began more than a decade ago when he was accused of committing sexual offenses.

The allegations led to orders for his arrest followed by a seven-year stay inside Ecuador’s embassy in London between 2012 and 2019.

In 2019, he was sent to Belmarsh prison after being arrested at the request of the US. EFE


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