The US Justice Department filed a formal request to the United Kingdom to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to multiple media reports. The request was reportedly made last Thursday, but only became known to the public on Monday. An anonymous US official revealed the information to the Washington Post.
In April, Assange, who had been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for years, was arrested on a single hacking charge from US prosecutors. Then, last month, the Justice Department unveiled 17 criminal charges against Assange, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired and assisted ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information.
He was charged with conspiring with Manning to gain access to a government computer as part of a 2010 leak by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of US military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Manning was arrested in 2010 and charged with leaking classified information. Barack Obama, president at the time, commuted her sentence in the final days of his presidency.
Reuters contributed to this article.