US submits extradition request for WikiLeaks founder Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being taken from court in London, Wednesday May 1, 2019. Assange has been jailed for 50 weeks for breaching his bail after going into hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
(Washington) — The United States government has formally submitted an extradition request to the United Kingdom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to a U.S. official.
Assange faces an 18-count indictment that accuses him of soliciting and publishing classified information and of conspiring with former Army private Chelsea Manning to crack a Defense Department computer password.
The 47-year-old Assange was evicted on April 11 from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been holed up since 2012 after Ecuador granted him political asylum. He was arrested by British police and is currently serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012.
Sweden also seeks him for questioning about an alleged rape, which Assange has denied.
The U.S. official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.