United Kingdom home secretary signs U.S. extradition request for Julian Assange

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"We have received the full extradition request, which has been certified by the Home Secretary".

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the U.K.'s top diplomat said he would not stand in the way of Assange's extradition, telling CBS' "Face the Nation" recently that he had no sympathy for the 47-year-old.

The Home Secretary revealed on BBC Radio 4 that he had "signed and certified" the extradition order in advance of a court hearing in London tomorrow when it is expected the United States will detail all the charges against the Wikileaks founder.

Professor Melzer, a United Nations independent expert on torture, warns that if extradited to the US, Mr Assange risks "serious violations of his human rights" and could be jailed for up to 175 years.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot, who presides over a number of high-profile Indian extradition requests including that of liquor baron Vijay Mallya and diamond merchant Nirav Modi, is due to hear the case at its next hearing on Friday.

The final decision on whether Assange can be extradited will rest with the courts.

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The WikiLeaks founder is due to appear via video link before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday for a case management hearing after the U.S. requested his extradition.

Julian Assange is now serving 50 weeks imprisonment sentence in UK's Belmarsh prison. Some legal experts have said the additional Espionage Act charges might slow or complicate the extradition process to the extent the United Kingdom views them as political offenses and therefore exempt from extradition.

Sajid Javid said that Assange was "rightly behind bars" at Belmarsh prison in southeast London, where he is serving 50 weeks after breaking bail terms and then holing up in the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years.

Assange was arrested by British police in April after Ecuadorian officials withdrew his asylum status.

The US has accused Assange of violating the US Espionage Act by publishing military and diplomatic files in 2010.

The 18 charges reject his claim he was simply a publisher receiving leaked material - which would be protected under press freedom legislation.

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