Australian Prime Minister welcomes Biden’s consideration to drop Julian Assange prosecution

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Anthony Albanese

11th April 2024 – (Sydney) Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese expressed his approval of U.S. President Joe Biden’s contemplation to dismiss the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Biden’s recent remarks in Washington, D.C., stating that the United States is reviewing Australia’s request to halt Assange’s prosecution for the release of confidential military records and diplomatic cables in 2010, were met with encouragement from Albanese.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) television on Thursday, Albanese voiced his belief that the matter should be resolved and emphasised that Assange has already faced significant consequences. “Enough is enough,” he stated firmly, asserting that there would be no benefits gained from Assange’s prolonged incarceration.

Assange, an Australian citizen who established WikiLeaks in Australia back in 2006, is currently pursuing an appeal against his extradition from the United Kingdom to the United States. The purpose of the extradition is to face trial for the aforementioned leaks that occurred in 2010.

In March, the UK High Court sought assurances from the United States regarding Assange’s fair trial rights and the absence of the death penalty in the event of conviction. A final decision on whether Assange can appeal the extradition order is expected in May.

Albanese had previously supported a motion presented by independent Member of Parliament (MP) Andrew Wilkie in the federal parliament in February. The motion called for Assange’s repatriation to Australia. In September, Wilkie joined a delegation of MPs who travelled to Washington, D.C., where they urged American politicians and officials to abandon the extradition efforts against Assange.

Wilkie expressed his optimism in response to Biden’s recent comments, describing them as highly encouraging. The development signifies a potential shift in the stance of the United States regarding Assange’s prosecution.

The consideration to drop the charges against Assange has sparked renewed debates surrounding the freedom of the press and the role of whistleblowers in exposing confidential information. Supporters of Assange argue that his actions served the public interest by revealing crucial information related to government activities.