Mexican President tells Joe Biden Julian Assange did not commit ‘serious crimes’

Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador said he petitioned US President Joe Biden on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, insisting that he did not commit serious crimes.
Mr. López Obrador has renewed an asylum offer for Mr. Assange, who is fighting for the extradition of the United Kingdom to the United States, where he could face decades in prison for alleged violations of the US Espionage Act.

The leader of the Mexican left delivered a letter to Biden during a visit to Washington last week, “explaining that Assange did not commit any serious crimes,” he told reporters on Monday.

Two men in suits sit on chairs.

US President Joe Biden (second from right) with Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador (second from left) in the Oval Office of the White House on July 12, 2022. Source: AAP, AP / Susan Walsh

“He did not cause anyone’s death, did not violate any human rights and exercised his freedom,” said Mr Lopez Obrador.

Jailing the 51-year-old Australian publisher would amount to “an attack on freedom of expression,” he said, adding that he had not yet received a response from Biden.

Assange faces up to 175 years in prison if found guilty of violating the US Espionage Act by releasing military and diplomatic files in 2010 related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The UK government last month approved his extradition to the US, prompting an appeal.

Supporters portray Assange as a martyr for press freedom after he was taken into British custody and placed in a maximum security prison after spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.