Jullian Assange has been on the run from American authorities for over a decade for leaking classified government documents in 2010 and 2011.
Today, a major development was announced in his case.
The deportation was approved Friday by U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel following a series of failed legal battles in British courts. However, a number of appeal routes remain open to Assange, who has 14 days to challenge the decision.
Assange is wanted by U.S. authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge, relating to WikiLeaks’ release in 2010 and 2011 of vast troves of confidential U.S. military records and diplomatic cables, which they claim had put lives in danger.
“On 17 June, following consideration by both the Magistrates Court and High Court, the extradition of Mr Julian Assange to the US was ordered. Mr Assange retains the normal 14-day right to appeal,” a U.K. Home Office spokesperson said.
“In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange. Nor have they found that extradition would be incompatible with his human rights, including his right to a fair trial and to freedom of expression, and that whilst in the US he will be treated appropriately, including in relation to his health.”
Attempts by the U.S. to extradite Assange have not been successful thus far. Judges in the U.K. have previously blocked American requests to extradite Assange because they deemed he was not in a proper enough state of mental health to be sent back.
Wikileaks reacted to the news via a statement posted on Twitter, in which the group called today a “dark day for press freedom.”