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In response to pressure from the Australian Government and around the world, President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday 10 April that he is considering dropping the prosecution against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The date also marked the fifth anniversary of the journalist’s imprisonment in South East London’s high-security Belmarsh prison. The proposal would see Mr. Assange, an Australian citizen, return home rather than be sent to the US to face espionage charges.

The news was welcomed by his supporters and Stella Assange told the BBC that she was also encouraged by Mr Biden’s comments.

“It looks like things could be moving in the right direction,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, adding that she believed the president should have dropped the case against her husband on the first day of his premiership.

“Lots of people around the world… have been saying for years that this case should be dropped, that it is a danger to press freedom.”

When asked about her husband’s health, Stella Assange said he was “extremely unwell”.

“He’s stressed, obviously, because he could be extradited to the US to face 175 years in prison.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the comment was encouraging. He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Mr. Assange has already paid a significant price and enough is enough.

Australia argues there is a contradiction between the US treatment of Assange and US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning who leaked diplomatic cables and military files that the WikiLeaks founder published and reported by the media worldwide. In January 2017 US President Obama reduced Manning’s 35 year sentence to seven years and she was released in May that year.

Last month I reported that Julian Assange had been given a temporary reprieve in his fight against extradition to the US at the high court in London,