Anthony Albanese has reportedly urged the US government to drop its pursuit of Julian Assange.

The Prime Minister told Parliament this week that he did not have “personal sympathy” for the WikiLeaks co-founder, but was nevertheless advocating for his release.

“I have raised this personally with representatives of the US government; my position is clear and has been made clear to the US administration – that it is time that this matter be brought to a close,” he said.

Assange, 51, has been held in custody in the UK since 2019 while lawyers fight to keep him from being extradited to the US.

The Australian faces dozens of espionage charges relating to the release of classified documents, charges that could result in a sentence of up to 175 years in an American maximum-security prison.

Albanese had previously said he would advocate quietly for the Australian’s release rather than conducting “diplomacy by megaphone”.

The revelation that he had become personally involved on Assange’s behalf came in answer to a question from Independent MP Monique Ryan who wanted to know: “Will the government intervene to bring Mr Assange home?”

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