The United States on Wednesday told the United Kingdom that Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeJulian Assange given permission to marry in prison Press freedom advocate: Unclear how recent US kidnapping allegations will impact Assange case US tells UK Assange could serve any sentence in Australia MORE could serve any prison sentence the U.S. imposes on him in Australia.
The offer is the latest in Washington's attempts to get Britain to extradite Assange to the U.S., where he faces 18 criminal charges, Reuters reported.
Assange is wanted in the U.S. on numerous charges, including spying, after WikiLeaks, a site he founded, shared secret government information in 2010.
The U.K. has been reluctant to extradite Assange to the U.S., citing concerns he would die by suicide if released to the U.S.
A judge in January cited mental health and suicide concerns as the reason Assange wouldn’t be extradited, but the U.S. has appealed.
The U.S. offered for Assange to serve any prison sentence in Australia, along with not putting him in ADX, a maximum-security prison in Colorado, or subjecting him to strict detention conditions, U.S. lawyer James Lewis said in court, according to Reuters.
Assange’s lawyers said U.S. assurances were not good enough, as Australia has not agreed to the terms and Assange could kill himself during the transfer to the country, a court document showed.
"On the evidence, Mr Assange will most likely be dead before it [the proposed transfer] can have any purchase," the lawyers wrote.
Supporters of Assange appeared outside of the court building; some regard Assange as a hero for releasing U.S. documents the government wanted to stay hidden.
Assange has been in a British jail since 2019 and was previously at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for seven years, Reuters noted.
A report by Yahoo News, interviewing more than 30 former U.S. intelligence and security officials, said the Trump administration and CIA contemplated kidnapping and possibly assassinating Assange in 2017.