OREANDA-NEWSBritish Interior Minister Sajid Javid signed a request by the US Department of Justice for the extradition of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. He said this on Thursday in an interview with BBC radio station, stressing that the final decision on this issue should be taken by the London court.

"There is a request for extradition from the United States, which the court will consider tomorrow. Yesterday I signed the extradition request and assured him", the minister said. He stressed that this is a standard procedure, noting that the final decision will be for the London court. "We have a legitimate request for extradition, and I signed it, but, of course, the court must decide", Javid said. On June 11, the US Department of Justice confirmed that it had sent an official request for the extradition of Assange to the UK.

Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006, the site publishes secret information about the activities of a number of governments, including the United States. Fearing extradition to the United States from Sweden, where two women accused him of sexual harassment and rape, Assange asked for refuge in 2012 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he was continuously for almost seven years. In April, Ecuador refused to grant him further asylum, after which Assange was arrested by police for failing to appear in a London court on a warrant from 2012, as well as on the basis of a request for extradition sent by Washington to the British authorities in 2018.

A London court on May 1 sentenced Assange to 50 weeks in prison for violating the conditions of release on bail. In the United States, the founder of WikiLeaks faces up to 175 years in prison for hacking activities.