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Source: China State Council Information Office

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is expected to face an extradition hearing in February next year to decide whether he should be sent to the U.S., local media reported Friday.

According to British newspaper The Guardian, Emma Arbuthnot, the chief magistrate at Westminster magistrates court, ordered on Friday that a full extradition hearing should begin on Feb. 25, which would last for 5 days.

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid told BBC’s Today Program on Thursday that he has signed a U.S. request for the extradition.

Australian-born Assange, 47, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for each charge. He was initially accused of violating the U.S. Espionage Act.

He was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail in May for breaching the Bail Act in Britain after having been expelled from Ecuador’s Embassy in London, where he was granted refuge in 2012 while on bail in Britain over sexual assault allegations against him in Sweden.

Assange has said that he does not consent to being extradited to the U.S. over charges related to leaking government secrets.

MIL OSI China News