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March 5, 2024 (EIRNS)—"I hope that Julian Assange will not be extradited to the U.S.A. The threat of a prison sentence of up to 175 years is like death by installment,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on March 4 during a visit to a school in Sindelfingen. The representatives of the United States had not been able to assure the British judges at the last hearing that punishment would be within acceptable limits from a British perspective, said Scholz.

“Finally, the fate of Julian Assange has reached the top of the government,” reacted Mika Beuster, Federal Chairman of the German Journalists’ Association. Beuster welcomed Scholz’s commitment.

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11, 2019, against an extradition request from the United States. The Australian native has been held at the high security HM Prison Belmarsh in England since that time, without being charged, frequently consigned to solitary confinement, and denied access to his attorney. The final stages of appealing extradition have been reached.