Government responds to Assange extradition request

The federal government says it will continue to provide consular assistance to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange following the UK’s decision that his extradition to the US can proceed.

“We will continue to convey our expectations that Assange is entitled to due process, humane and fair treatment, access to adequate medical care and access to his legal team,” a Friday night statement from Foreign Minister Penny Wong and of the lawyer,” said General Mark Dreyfus.

“The Australian government has been clear in our view that the Assange case has been going on for a long time and that it must be closed.

“We will continue to express this opinion to the UK and US Governments.”

The statement also noted that Assange has several avenues through which he can appeal the decision.

Earlier on Friday, British Home Secretary Priti Patel approved the extradition, bringing Assange’s long legal saga closer to a conclusion.

He is wanted by US authorities on 18 criminal charges, including one count of espionage related to WikiLeaks’ disclosure of vast collections of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables that Washington says have endangered lives.

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