New US charges may slow Assange’s UK extradition


May 24, 2019 - 4:52 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new indictment against Julian Assange could further delay what was already expected to be a protracted battle to get the WikiLeaks founder out of a London jail cell and into a U.S. court, by opening the door for his legal team to argue that the Espionage Act charges are political and thus not covered by an extradition treaty between the two countries.

U.S. authorities want to extradite Assange to face charges that he directed the publication of a huge trove of secret documents that disclosed the names of people who provided confidential information to American and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Assange, 47 and originally from Australia, is serving a 50-week sentence in London after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in April. He has insisted he will fight extradition.

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