Australia suddenly grants Julian Assange a passport
Agencies: The Australian government keeping Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks in good humor issued a passport since it has refused to acknowledge evidence of a sealed indictment or provide him with any sort of substantial assistance to get him home in the last eight-plus years.
On February 21, 2019, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issued Julian a new passport despite the fact that DFAT officials had reservations about doing so.
According to the newspaper, last year officials stated that Assange’s “entitlement to a passport” might be affected by “an arrest warrant in connection with a ‘serious foreign offence’ within the meaning of Section 13 of the Australian Passports Act 2005.”
Section 13 of the Australian Passports Act states that an application may be rejected if the applicant is subject to an arrest warrant for a serious foreign offense, is restricted from traveling because of a serious foreign offense, or if the issuance of a passport would compromise proceedings connected with a serious foreign offense.
However, it would be extraordinary if the Australian government’s reservations last year had anything to do with a U.S. indictment or charges against Assange, some of which may include charges under the Espionage Act, since it not only went ahead and issued the passport but as recently as last week maintained that there is no evidence of any U.S. charges against Assange.
With that said, the real question here is why the Australian government is playing nice by issuing Assange a passport yet it has refused to acknowledge evidence of a sealed indictment against him or provide him with any sort of substantial assistance to get him home in the last eight-plus years.
Edited by Saleem Samad