The US Justice Department has delivered to officials in the United Kingdom a formal extradition request for Julian Assange, making further US charges against the WikiLeaks founder unlikely.
A US official who spoke on background to discuss a sensitive matter said the request was sent on Thursday.
The United States’ treaty with Britain required that the request be sent within 60 days of Assange’s 11 April arrest at Ecuador’s Embassy in London.
The same treaty bars the United States from prosecuting Assange for any alleged crimes beyond those outlined in the extradition request, unless those acts occur after his extradition.
In an 18-count indictment filed last month, prosecutors charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act and conspiring to hack into a government computer.
The Justice Department did not pursue Assange for the 2017 exposure of Central Intelligence Agency hacking tools known as “Vault 7”, according to government officials, out of concern that doing so would do more damage to national security.
Joshua Adam Schulte, a former CIA employee, is accused in New York federal court of leaking that information to WikiLeaks.
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