Mr Assange’s arrest and any legal proceedings are a matter of current consideration in accordance with the British justice system and it would be inappropriate to comment while that process is underway.

However I note that under both Australian and UK law, a person cannot be extradited if they may face the death penalty, unless an undertaking is given in advance that this will not occur.  Although the extradition request is being dealt with under the law of the UK, given that Mr Assange is an Australian citizen we expect that the Australian Government would ask the UK Government to seek a guarantee from the United States that the death penalty would not be imposed on Mr Assange, in advance of any extradition request being granted.

As Mr Assange is an Australian citizen he, like any Australian citizen facing legal difficulties overseas, is entitled to consular assistance provided through Australia’s overseas missions. I understand this assistance is being provided to Mr Assange through the Australian High Commission in London, and this will continue to be the case


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