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US Justice Dept Formally Asks UK to Extradite Julian Assange

• https://news.antiwar.com, Jason Ditz

Making their request official, the US Justice Department has formally submitted its request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the British government. There had previously been a "provisional" request for extradition, under which the US asked Britain to keep Assange pending this new request. 

According to those familiar with the request, the request is built around an indictment from late May, in which the US imposed 17 charges under the Espionage Act. If convicted, Assange would face 170 years in prison. 

Britain has been holding Assange since April 11, when police captured him in the Ecuadorean Embassy in central London. Assange had been in the embassy since 2012, and faces 50 weeks in prison in Britain for hiding in the embassy. 

The US has been known to want to extradite Assange for years, and it is expected to be an extremely controversial bid, in part because Assange's "crimes" are centered on journalistic activities.

 

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