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Julian Assange is up before court over extradition

A REQUEST to extradite Julian Assange to the US over computer hacking accusations has been signed by the home secretary.

Sajid Javid signed the order on Wednesday, but said it was up to the courts to decide Mr Assange’s fate.

The WikiLeaks founder (pictured), 47, was today due to appear before Westminster magistrates via videolink for a hearing into the extradition request.

He is currently serving a 50-week sentence in Belmarsh prison, south-east London, for bail violations, after taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to face rape charges. He spent seven years inside the London embassy before being handed over by Ecuador in April.

Last month, Sweden reopened an investigation into an allegation of rape against Mr Assange, which he denies.

Mr Javid yesterday told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I am pleased the police were finally able to apprehend him and he’s rightly behind bars because he broke UK law. I want to see justice done so I’ve signed the extradition order but the final decision is now with the courts.’