According to new assurances made by the US government, Julian Assange would be permitted to serve any custodial sentence he receives in an Australian prison if convicted on espionage and hacking charges in the United States. The assurances, which state Mr. Assange would also not be held in its strictest maximum-security jails, are seen as concessions in an attempt to extradite the 50-year-old to the US to face trial.
In January, a British judge refused a US extradition request, citing Mr. Assange’s fiancé Stella Morris told SBS News the assurances aren’t concessions because foreign prisoners in the US have the right to request a transfer to their home country. She also fears her partner would be kept in solitary confinement, even if held in a lower security facility. Britain’s High the decision to deny his extradition. “It’s mixed because, on the one hand, it’s been six months, and we haven’t had any news. It’s like an endless purgatory,” said Ms. Morris. “But it doesn’t end here. We don’t how long this will go on and how long he’ll be imprisoned in that terrible place.”he would commit suicide if held in a ‘supermax-style’ American jail.
Mr. Assange has been held at London’s Belmarsh Prison2019 for skipping bail.
He had spent the previous seven years inside Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors wanted to question him over allegations of. That case was eventually dropped.
US prosecutors have indicted Mr. Assange on 18 counts of publishing secret government and military documents by Wikileaks.
He would face a maximum sentence of 175 years in jail if found guilty.
No date has been set for the US government’s extradition appeal, and it’s likely to be a slow process. Mr. Assange’s supporters believe their best hope of getting the Australian out of prison in the coming months is to appeal directly to the, even though there’s been no sign of the White House changing its position. “Secretary of State (Antony) Blinken is hiding behind the rhetoric that he cannot comment on this because this is a court procedure, that it’s not natural for politicians to intervene in,” said Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson.
“These kinds of arguments do not hold water. This is the way of the coward.”
Ms. Morris, the mother of Mr. Assange’s two youngest children, says now is the time forto step in and end a prosecution instigated by his predecessor. “There’s no way to stand up for the first amendment and defend simultaneously as you’re prosecuting Julian Assange,” she said.