London, Apr 20 (EFE).- A United Kingdom court on Wednesday issued an order to extradite Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges.
The order from Westminster Magistrates Court heads to the UK’s home secretary Priti Patel, who will decide whether Assange should be handed over to US authorities to face the charges related to the publication of thousands of confidential documents by Wikileaks in 2010.
Australian-born Assange, who will have the right to appeal, appeared at the brief court hearing Wednesday via video link from London’s Belmarsh prison, where he has been held since 2019.
Assange faces 18 charges, including computer espionage and intrusion that his legal team said could lead to a combined prison sentence of up to 175 years.
The activist spent seven years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London from 2012, where he sought political asylum.
On March 14, the UK’s Supreme Court overturned a previous ruling blocking Assange’s extradition to the US due to his mental health and suicide risk.
The US criminal charges against Assange pertain 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. EFE