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article imageU.S. makes official request to extradite Assange from the UK

By Ken Hanly     Jun 12, 2019 in Politics
The US Dept. of Justice has formally submitted a request to extradite Julian Assange from the UK. This follows on an earlier provisional request that the UK retain Assange until this formal request was made.
Request built around late May indictment of Assange
In that indictment the US charged Assange with 17 offences under the Espionage Act. If convicted of all the charges, Assange could face up to 170 years in prison. The UK has held Assange since April 11 when the Ecuadorean Embassy in central London allowed police to enter and arrest him. He had been there since 2012. For breaching his bail provisions Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail.
US has waited years to extradite Assange
Assange had fled to the Ecuadorean embassy to avoid being extradited to be questioned on a rape investigation in Sweden. He was not charged with anything. Assange thought the extradition was meant to allow him to be further extradited to the US
The extradition request faces obstacles
Many think the Assange's crimes are actually ground-breaking journalism in which he acted as a whistle blower revealing many dirty deeds of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan including the killing of a Reuter's journalist and driver in an Apache helicopter attack of which video is appended.
Another problem with extradition is the fact that the US has the death penalty and also a number of US officials have been attacking him publicly for years. The attacks raise doubts about whether Assange could face a fair trial in the US and the UK cannot extradite someone to where the person could face the death penalty.
So far Wikileaks has not issued a statement on the new request nor have Assange's legal team.
Assange in medical wing of the Belmarsh prison
Assange was unable to attend a recent court hearing in London on the US request for extradition as his lawyer claimed he was too ill to attend and that he had been relocated to the prison medical ward. Wikileaks issued a statement claiming that Assange's health had significantly deteriorated during his seven year stay in the Ecuadorean embassy.. During his seven weeks in prison it has gotten even worse. The hearing has been adjourned until June 12. This time it will be held inside the prison so perhaps Assange will be able to attend.
Wikileaks reports that the hearing has been postponed until June 14.
More about Julian Assange, extradition of Assange to US, US Uk relations
 
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