00:38 GMT +315 November 2019
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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain in this February 5, 2016.

    Lawyer Hopes for Trump Administration to Change US Stance on Assange, Manning

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    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange case (73)
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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's lawyer Melinda Taylor on Friday expressed hope that US president-elect Donald Trump's incoming administration would adopt a fresh approach toward Assange's case.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Taylor, who represented the Australian citizen before the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) early this year, told Russia's Izvestia newspaper that she believes the Trump administration would appreciate Assange's role in promoting free speech and democracy in the United States.

    She added that the same applies to whistleblowers and informants such as Chelsea Manning, who leaked some 700,000 classified US military documents to WikiLeaks and was sentenced for violating the Espionage Act in 2013 to 35 years in prison.

    Assange's friend and journalist John Pilger told the newspaper that after his January 20 inauguration, Trump will have an opportunity to prove his stated affinity for WikiLeaks by pardoning Assange, thus letting him leave his refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

    During his election campaign, Trump called WikiLeaks "a treasure trove" when citing compromising information on his rival Hillary Clinton's collusion with the media, which had been revealed by the website.

    Earlier in November, another of Assange's lawyers, Jennifer Robinson, said that she was open to holding discussions with the US government on closing security investigations against Assange.

    Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 for fear of being extradited to Sweden, where his faces rape allegations. The WikiLeaks founder denies the allegations, saying they are part of efforts to get him handed over to the United States.

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    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange case (73)

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    WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Donald Trump, United States
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