U.K. Government Signs Assange’s U.S. Extradition Papers

The potential extradition of Julian Assange to the United States took a major step forward Thursday after the British government confirmed it had signed papers agreeing to hand over the WikiLeaks founder. Britain’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he signed the papers Wednesday, a day after the U.S. Justice Department formally requested the extradition. However, there’s still a difficult court case to go before Assange can be sent. Assange faces an 18-count indictment, issued by the Justice Department, that includes charges under the Espionage Act. Javid said: “[Assange is] rightly behind bars. There’s an extradition request from the U.S. that is before the courts tomorrow, but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow.” He added: “I’ve signed it, but the final decision is now with the courts.”