Stella Assange after Biden's statement: Julian's case could be moving in the right direction

Stella Assange said the impeachment was "Trump's legacy and Joe Biden really should have dropped it from day one."

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Stella Assange, Photo: Reuters
Stella Assange, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Julian Assange's wife said her husband's court case "could be moving in the right direction" as US President Joseph Biden confirmed the US could drop charges against the jailed WikiLeaks founder.

The statement by Assange's wife comes as his supporters gathered in several cities to demand his release, on the fifth anniversary of his imprisonment at London's Belmarsh prison.

On Wednesday, Biden said his administration was "considering" Australia's request to drop a decade-long US effort to prosecute Assange over the release of a large trove of classified US documents.

The proposal would see Assange, an Australian citizen, return home instead of being sent to the US to face espionage charges. Officials did not provide further details, but Stella Assange said the comments were a "good sign".

"It looks like things could be moving in the right direction," she told the BBC, adding that the impeachment was "Trump's legacy and Joe Biden really should have dropped it from day one."

Assange is charged with 17 counts of espionage and one count of computer misuse for posting classified US documents on his website nearly 15 years ago.

US prosecutors allege that Assange, 52, encouraged and aided US military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to steal diplomatic cables and military files released by WikiLeaks, putting lives at risk.

Australia claims there is a disconnect between the US treatment of Assange and Manning. Then-US President Barack Obama commuted Manning's 35-year sentence to seven years, allowing her release in 2017.

Assange's supporters say he is a journalist protected by the First Amendment who exposed U.S. military atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange has been in prison since 2019 while fighting extradition, having previously spent seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden on rape and sexual assault charges.

The relationship between Assange and his hosts eventually soured and he was kicked out of the embassy in April 2019. He was immediately arrested by British police and imprisoned in Belmarsh for breaching his 2012 bail.

The UK government signed off on an extradition order in 2022, but a British court ruled last month that Assange could not be sent to the US unless US authorities guaranteed he would not receive the death penalty.

The next court hearing in the case is scheduled for May 20. Assange was too ill to attend his final hearings. Stella Assange said her husband's health continues to deteriorate in prison and she fears he will die behind bars.

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