Spender lobbies for Assange’s return

Senator Duncan Spender of the Liberal Democrats has today written to the Foreign Affairs Minister and Attorney-General calling on them to request the deportation of Mr Julian Assange to Australia.

“Justice should take its course in the United Kingdom, but once Mr Assange is sentenced for breaking bail, standard prisoner transfer arrangements should be initiated so that his sentence is carried out in Australia,” Senator Spender said.

“If Sweden requests Mr Assange’s extradition to face rape allegations, such a request should be acceded to. Sweden’s justice system is robust and rape allegations are extremely serious.

“But United States extradition requests should be denied as, prima facie and on balance, any conspiracy to hack US Government computer systems was in the public interest.

“If Mr Assange faced the US justice system, there is a prospect that reason would prevail given the US’s robust defences of civil liberties. But we should not take the risk of these defences being overridden and Mr Assange being imprisoned. He is an Australian citizen.

“There is too much secrecy in the Australian Government and in the governments of our allies. This secrecy goes beyond defending the private information of citizens, extracted by government coercion. Instead, this secrecy defends government overreach.

“Government is there to serve the people, not vice versa,” he concluded.

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