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PM says Australia ‘unable to intervene’ in Julian Assange extradition: Report

by Ace Damon
PM says Australia 'unable to intervene' in Julian Assange extradition: Report

Australia is "unable to intervene" in the international dispute over WikiLeaks native editor Julian Assange, Prime Minister Scott Morrison wrote in a letter released on Tuesday.

The Australian newspaper reported that Morrison made the remark in a letter sent to actress and activist Pamela Anderson, one of Assange's best-known supporters.

"The Australian government continues to follow Assange closely, as it would any other Australian citizen detained abroad," Morrison wrote in the letter.

"In addition to providing consular assistance, it is important to note that Australia has no position and cannot intervene in Assange's legal proceedings," Morrison added, according to The Australian.

Representatives of Morrison's office nor Anderson immediately answered questions from The Washington Times.

Assange, 48, was born in Townsville, Queensland, Australia and is currently under arrest in London while awaiting the results of upcoming court proceedings to determine whether he should be sent to the US to face criminal charges related to the administration of the WikiLeaks site.

He is accused of committing several violations of the US Espionage Act for soliciting and publishing classified information through WikiLeaks, and he could spend the rest of his life in jail if extradited and found guilty.

Anderson, 52, said earlier that he planned to ask Morrison to intervene to prevent Assange's potential extradition. In a statement last month, she said Assange was turned into a "scapegoat" and "suffered inhumanly for spreading factual information that we should all know."

"I think he was psychologically tortured," Anderson said before visiting Assange in prison.

More recently, a group of 60 doctors said in an open interview with the British Home Office that published Monday that Assange requires urgent medical care and could "die in prison" if not transferred to a hospital.

"We strongly disagree with any suggestion that Mr Assange has been treated inappropriately in the United Kingdom," a British government spokesman told The Times earlier this month.

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