Australian Deputy PM Doesn’t Want Assange Extradited

Australian Deputy PM Doesn't Want Assange Extradited

( – After former Army Intelligence Analyst Chelsea Manning leaked classified information with aid from Julian Assange in 2010, the United States sought to capture the fugitive and bring him to justice. The US alleged Assange helped Manning hack US servers and encourage hackers globally to obtain secret documents and forward them to his company, WikiLeaks. In 2019, the Ecuadorian government kicked Assange out of its embassy where he had holed up for years under the guise of political asylum. Immediately, the US indicted Assange for hacking and charged him under the US Espionage Act.

Currently in jail in the United Kingdom, the British courts recently ruled the UK could extradite Assange to the United States to face criminal charges. Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce objected to the UK ruling and the US’s pursuit of the WikiLeaks founder. Joyce questioned why the UK should send Assange, an Australian citizen, to the US when he didn’t commit the alleged crimes in the United States.

Additionally, the Australian Deputy PM said Assange didn’t steal anything. Chelsea Manning did. He added Assange didn’t break any Australian laws and suggested the US request was akin to extraditing someone to Saudi Arabia for insulting the Koran.

Joyce added that if Australia accepts its citizen’s extraditions for breaking another country’s laws when they weren’t in that country, it would be a precedent that would make it hard to defend Australian citizens in the future.

WikiLeaks says the case is about the free press and journalistic rights to publish materials unfavorable to governments and corporations without being bullied by a superpower.

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