The U.S. ambassador to Australia said there could be a “resolution” to the Justice Department’s pursuit of Assange.

By Prem Thakker, The Intercept

The United States is considering a plea deal that would allow WikiLeaks founder and whistleblower Julian Assange to return to Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Monday.

julian assange supporter with sign that says drop the charges

U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy told the Morning Herald that there could be a “resolution” to Assange’s now-four-year detention in Britain. Assange, an Australian citizen, has been held in a London prison since 2019 while combating U.S. extradition efforts. He faces 18 criminal charges in the U.S., 17 of which allege violations of the Espionage Act.

Kennedy’s comments come weeks after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken rebuffed Australia’s calls to end the prosecution against Assange. After a July meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Brisbane, Blinken said the whistleblower was “charged with very serious criminal conduct” for his role in publishing classified American government materials. The files Assange shared in 2010 included footage of a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad that killed 18 civilians — including journalists — and hundreds of thousands of field reports from the Iraq War.

“There is a way to resolve it,” Kennedy said on Assange’s detention, adding that a plea deal would be “up to the Justice Department.” The Department of Justice declined to comment. The State Department did not respond to The Intercept’s request for comment.

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