The US State Department responded to the ruling by saying it would continue to try to hand Assange. Prosecutors are expected to appeal the judge’s extradition decision. Assange is now being held in Belmarsh prison in London.
Prime Minister Morrison said in a radio interview that the Australian state is not a party to the case and that Assange is entitled to consular assistance. “If the appeal is not successful, he can of course return to Australia, like any Australian,” Morrison said.
The United States suspects that Assange (49 years old) committed 18 criminal offenses. WikiLeaks, the whistleblower page, regularly publishes leaked military documents and diplomatic correspondence during the Obama administration. The United States has been seriously embarrassed several times over this. The United States government stated that WikiLeaks endangered Americans’ lives.
However, supporters of Assange see him as a whistleblower being prosecuted for his conviction for US crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. They describe Assange’s persecution as a politically motivated attack on the press and freedom of expression.
WikiLeaks became known to the mainstream news audience when it published a video in 2010 of a US Apache helicopter shooting dozens of people in Baghdad in 2007. Two of them were employees of the British news agency Reuters.
Assange was also offered support from Mexico on Monday. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador offered Australian political asylum. This move is most likely against the sore leg of the Americans.
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