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Extradition order for Julian Assange issued by London court

The court issued a formal extradition order at a hearing on Wednesday, leaving British Home Secretary Priti Patel to approve his transfer to the United States after a years-long legal wrangle. Assange can appeal the decision.

He is wanted in the United States on 18 criminal charges after WikiLeaks released thousands of classified files and diplomatic cables in 2010. If convicted, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison.

Assange joined the hearing virtually from London’s high-security Belmarsh prison, where he has been held since being dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy in London three years ago. He provided his full name and date of birth.

His extradition has been the subject of numerous court hearings since his arrest, which came after Assange sought diplomatic refuge in the embassy for seven years. In January 2021, a lower court decision found that Assange could not be extradited as it would be “oppressive”, due to his mental health.

But the High Court overturned that decision in December, saying Assange could be extradited to the United States based on assurances given by the US government about his treatment there.

These included promises that Assange would not be subject to “special administrative measures”, nor be held in a maximum security prison before or after his trial.

Last month, Assange married his longtime partner Stella Moris inside Belmarsh prison.

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