Sydney (AFP) – Australia’s prime minister has told former “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson that Canberra will not intervene to bring her friend, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, back home to prevent his extradition to the United States.
The 48-year-old Australian is currently in jail in London for jumping bail and avoiding extradition to Sweden by fleeing to the Ecuadoran embassy, where he lived for seven years.
He now again faces extradition, this time to the United States on charges of violating the Espionage Act.
Anderson had written to Australian PM Scott Morrison warning that Assange was under intense psychological pressure at the high-security jail where he is being held.
In the letter of response obtained by The Australian newspaper, Morrison responded by saying that “Australia has no standing and is unable to intervene in Mr. Assange’s legal proceedings.”
“The proper place for Mr. Assange to raise concerns about the lawfulness of his actions, or his treatment under the law, is through those legal processes, which should be allowed to run their course.”
Assange’s Wikileaks published a trove of highly classified and sensitive US diplomatic and military documents which exposed US rights abuses including the unreported killing of Iraqi civilians, but also put sources named in the documents at risk and were used to weaken democratic alliances.
A small group of cross-party Australian parliamentarians has argued Assange did not commit any crimes in the United States and is not a US citizen so should not be extradited.
His full extradition hearing is set for February.