Julian Assange's US extradition case is of ‘great concern to all’ and Australia should raise it with the United States, the lawyer for the Wikileaks founder said.
Assange, 48, is currently serving a 50-week prison sentence in London for breaching bail conditions related to an extradition request from Sweden. Concurrently, he is also fighting another extradition to the US where he faces numerous charges including espionage.
‘Julian Assange is an Australian citizen and publisher. He is facing 175 years in prison,’ London-based lawyer Jennifer Robinson, who is currently in Canberra to garner up support for Assange in Australia, told reporters outside the Parliament House on Wednesday.
‘This is a dangerous precedent for all of the media and a dangerous precedent being set against an Australian citizen.’ Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, as well as Foreign Minister Marise Payne, are set to host US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the weekend in Sydney.
Robinson said Australia should raise the issue during the meeting.
In April, police dragged Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had been holed up since 2012 to avoid arrest.
‘His health has obviously deteriorated significantly and likely permanent damage on his health as a result from his time in the embassy,’ Robinson said.
‘He does not deserve the treatment he has received and it's time for the Australian government to speak up.’ Washington has accused Assange of conspiring with former US military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.
The US extradition request hearing is slated for February.
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