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An extradition order for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was issued by a London court on Wednesday, allowing his transfer to the U.S.

Once extradited to the U.S., Assange is expected to be tried under the Espionage Act, CNN reported.

The final step in the extradition process is for UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to approve the measure, which has been a years long process, with Assange spending nearly a decade seeking diplomatic asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which ended three years ago. But Assange has the option to appeal the court’s decision.

Assange has been charged with 18 criminal counts by the U.S. for the publication by Wikileaks of thousands of pages of classified documents and diplomatic cables in 2020. Assange faces a maximum of 175 years in prison if convicted.

Assange is currently being held in London’s Belmarsh Prison, from where he joined the court hearing virtually.

A January 2021 ruling by a magistrates’ court that Assange could not be extradited due to mental health issues was overturned in December by the High Court, which ruled that Assange could be extradited to the U.S. if it assured the court that his treatment would not include being held in a maximum security prison or “special administrative measures.”