Barnaby Joyce said that the founder of WikiLeaks should be tried for the crime he committed on British soil, or send him back to Australia, of which he is a citizen.

Attempts to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States must stop, he must be tried for violating UK laws, if any, or returned to Australia, of which he is a citizen. This opinion was expressed on Tuesday by Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Barnaby Joyce.

In his article in The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, the politician called for “paying special attention to how an Australian citizen is protected and tried” in a British court. “Why is the U.S. now seeking his extradition from London? Assange did not steal any secret U.S. files, an American citizen Chelsea Manning did it, and he only published them and received the Walkley Award in Journalism in Australia for this, without violating any Australian laws. Assange was not even in the United States at the time when this happened, <…> why should he be extradited to this country?” Joyce pointed out.

The Australian Deputy Prime Minister urged to remember that the founder of WikiLeaks was and remains an Australian citizen, and not to agree with an unfair trial over him. “They [British judges] should try him for any crime he is alleged to have committed on British soil, or send him back to Australia, of which he is a citizen,” he said.

Earlier, a number of deputies of the Australian federal parliament also called on the government of the country to “put pressure on the U.S. and UK authorities” and achieve Assange’s return to his homeland. Julian Hill, who represents the ruling Labor Party of Australia in parliament, said that “an Australian who exposed U.S. war crimes is treated worse than a war criminal.” “He will not receive a fair trial, the United States is seeking his extradition in order to impose a death sentence on him,” he said on his Twitter page.