US submits extradition request for WikiLeaks founder Assange

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US submits extradition request for WikiLeaks founder Assange
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 1, 2019 file photo, buildings are reflected in the window as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is taken from court, where he appeared on charges of jumping British bail seven years ago, in London. Assange has missed a court session apparently due to health problems. Assange had been expected to appear from prison via video link at a brief extradition hearing Thursday, May 30, 2019 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States government has formally submitted an extradition request to the United Kingdom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (ah-SAHNJ’), 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.