UK Government Approves Julian Assange's Extradition to US
WikiLeaks co-founder faces espionage charges in the United States
The UK government has approved the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges.
The extradition order was approved by British Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday.
The WikiLeaks co-founder's legal team is expected to file an appeal within the required 14 days.
The development follows a British court ruling in April that Assange could be sent to the U.S.
Assange is wanted in the U.S after he published damaging information on Barack Obama's Democratic regime.
Wikileaks famously published the emails of twice-failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her shady campaign manager John Podesta.
The Home Office said in a statement that "the U.K courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr. Assange."
The decision is a big moment in Assange’s years-long battle to avoid being sent to the U.S.
The U.S. requested the extradition so that Assange can stand trial on 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse.
The charges are over WikiLeaks’ publication of a huge trove of classified documents years ago.
American prosecutors allege Assange helped U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal classified military files that WikiLeaks later published, putting lives at risk.
Assange has been in prison since he was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019 and arrested by British police after Ecuador withdrew his asylum status.
The Australian is being held at Belmarsh prison in London after mounting a lengthy battle to avoid being extradited.
Responding to the home secretary's order, Wikileaks confirmed that it would appeal her decision.
Assange's wife, Stella, said her husband had done "nothing wrong," arguing that "he has committed no crime."
"He is a journalist and a publisher, and he is being punished for doing his job."
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton remains free.