05:06 GMT +323 October 2019
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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Westminster Magistrates Court, after he was arrested in London, Britain April 11, 2019.

    Australian Gov't Continues to Assist Assange, Visits Him in Prison - Spokesman

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    LONDON (Sputnik) - The Australian government continues to provide WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is now in custody in the United Kingdom, with consular assistance, a spokesperson of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Thursday.

    "The Australian Government continues to provide consular assistance to Mr Assange, including visiting him in prison and communicating with his next of kin in Australia," the spokesperson told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: UN Expert Says Concerned Assange Faced at Least 2 Forms of Privacy Infringement

    This comes after, a London court sentenced Assange to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail by going into hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012. Assange is due to appear in London court later on Thursday to face a hearing on the US request for his extradition. The hearing will start at 10 a.m. local time (09:00 GMT) in Westminster Magistrate Court.

    Assange was arrested by UK authorities on 11 April at the request of the US government. The whistleblower now faces extradition to the United States on charges of conspiring to break in a government computer to leak classified information. According to media reports, he is likely to face more charges if extradited to the United States.

    Assange gained fame after WikiLeaks published a large number of classified documents, including some that exposed abuses of power and war crimes committed by US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

    Related:

    ‘Playing a Holding Game’: Assange May Be Taken to Unknown Location Instead of US
    Int’l Norms Will Break Down if We Don't Protest Assange's Sentence - Hrafnsson
    Assange Attends London Court Sentencing Over Skipping Bail
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    Julian Assange arrest, Ecuadorian Embassy, Julian Assange, Australia, United Kingdom
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