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HomeGeneralBiden Reveals He’s Considering Australia’s Request to Drop Julian Assange Prosecution

Biden Reveals He’s Considering Australia’s Request to Drop Julian Assange Prosecution

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
Source: Reddit

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the United States is “considering” abandoning a years-long effort to pursue Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who played a central role in the release of a series of military information confidentiality from Biden’s 2006.

Comments made to reporters outside the White House came two months after the Australian Parliament passed a motion calling for Assange’s release in his native Australia.

A reporter mentioned the move Wednesday when asking Biden to end the prosecution of Assange, to which the president responded: “We’re looking at that.” He said nothing more about Assange.

Assange, who is detained in the UK, has been on the run from US authorities for more than a decade, first living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven years and then trying to escape extradition by British courts in the last 5 years.

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Assange, 52, faces a possible sentence of more than 100 years in prison in the United States if convicted of multiple espionage charges. US prosecutors said he endangered lives by publishing secret military documents while the United States was engaged in active conflicts in the Middle East.

In total, Assange faces 18 federal charges, including 17 for alleged violations of the Espionage Act. The other charge, an alleged computer hacking conspiracy, stems from a related incident in 2010.

Assange’s case was complicated from the start, with free speech advocates condemning the charges against him, saying a conviction could have a deterrent effect on freedom of the press.

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Others want Assange to be imprisoned for life, accusing him of endangering American soldiers. Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, said her husband “is being persecuted because he revealed the true cost of war in life. She said she feared he would die behind bars because his health was deteriorating.

The UK approved Assange’s extradition to the US in 2022, but he appealed the decision, arguing that it was politically motivated and that he did not benefit from a trial. This call kept him in London, at  Belmarsh Prison, where suspects and high-ranking criminals were held.

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Last month in London, the fugitive got a lifeline when a court ruled that it would not extradite Assange on espionage charges unless US authorities guaranteed he would not receive the death penalty – a decision about which the United States has kept silent until now.

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