- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Julian Assange’s lawyer pressed the Australian government on Wednesday to raise the WikiLeaks publisher’s extradition when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits this weekend.

Jennifer Robinson, Mr. Assange’s attorney since 2010, appealed to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference held in Canberra, the country’s capital.

Calling his case of “great concern” to fellow Australians, Ms. Robinson asked Mr. Morrison and Marise Payne, his foreign minister, to discuss the situation surrounding Mr. Assange when Mr. Pompeo visits Sydney on Sunday, the Australian Associated Press reported.

“This is a dangerous precedent for all of the media and a dangerous precedent being set against an Australian citizen,” Ms. Robinson, AAP reported.

“He does not deserve the treatment he has received and it’s time for the Australian government to speak up,” she said, according to the outlet.

Mr. Assange, 47, is currently behind bars in London while fighting a U.S. extradition request made in connection with criminal charges related to his WikiLeaks website and its acquisition and publication of classified government material, including 17 counts of violating the U.S. Espionage Act. Extradition proceedings are set to begin in February 2020.

Ms. Robinson said on Twitter that she was in Canberra to attend an Australian Parliamentary briefing involving Mr. Assange, who was born in Townsville, Queensland.

Peter Whish-Wilson, an Australian senator for the Greens party, shared a post on Twitter that said he was among roughly 30 lawmakers who met with Mr. Assange’s lawyer Wednesday.

The briefing occurred ahead of Sydney hosting the Australia — U.S. Ministerial Consultations, or AUSMIM, an annual bilateral forum being held Sunday. Mr. Pompeo and Mark Esper, the newly confirmed U.S. secretary of defense, are both scheduled to participate, according to the Australian Foreign Minister’s office.

Neither the State Department nor Australian prime minister’s office immediately returned messages requesting comment.

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