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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, discussed the United Kingdom High Court of Justice’s decision to grant Julian Assange permission to appeal against his extradition to the United States of America.

“It’s wonderful news that Julian Assange has been granted permission to appeal his extradition to the United States,” Mr Wilkie said. “Mr Assange’s case will now go to the Court of Appeal, where I hope for success so he can be reunited with his family and allowed to return to Australia.

“Mind you it never should have come to this because Mr Assange should never have been charged for Wikileaks’ astonishing revelations of egregious United States misconduct, including war crimes. Mr Assange is an award-winning Australian journalist who is being dragged through the mud by the US for simply doing his job and telling the truth. The man should be lauded as a hero, not rotting away in a cell.

“The court’s decision overnight also gives the Australian and US governments, and indeed Mr Assange and the US Department of Justice, more time to negotiate to have the charges dropped or at least a deal to be struck.

“In any case this matter has gone on for far too long and millions of people around the world are saying enough is enough. Indeed the majority of the Australian Parliament, including the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, voted in favour of my motion calling on the UK and US Governments to bring this to an end and to let Julian return to Australia.”

Mr Wilkie is a co-chair of the parliamentary Julian Assange group and has twice travelled to London in support of Mr Assange.