Triumphant WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Triumphant WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Matt Dunham

Assange's mum calls out PM after charges dropped

JULIAN Assange's mother has called on the Australian Prime Minister to help her son seek political asylum abroad.

Christine Assange said she was "very pleased” after Swedish authorities announced they were dropping a rape allegation against him.

But she told ABC Radio Brisbane: "I'm officially calling on Malcolm Turnbull to step in, act like a prime minister, and protect a citizen.

"I'd like him to take to task Sweden for what they've done breaching his human rights and lying to the media, and I would like him to pressure the UK Government to allow him safe passage to Ecuador.”

The WikiLeaks founder has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, after exhausting legal avenues to prevent his extradition to Sweden. British police have said they would still be obliged to arrest Mr Assange if he leaves the embassy because he still faces the lesser charge of failing to surrender to a court, an offence punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine.

Asked if she would support Britain extraditing Mr Assange to the US, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the government looked at extradition requests "on a case-by-case basis”.

Professor of International Law Donald Rothwell told 3AW's Sunday Morning morning program that Mr Assange would still be greatly concerned about leaving the Ecuadorian embassy.

"Perhaps more worryingly for Assange, back in April we had the US Attorney General and the director of the CIA indicating that they were very closely looking at WikiLeaks activities,” Prof Rothwell said.

"President Trump has apparently endorsed that kind of investigation.”

Mr Assange's legal team have also called on the Australian government to negotiate his release with Washington and London.

After the charges were dropped, Mr Assange made a rare appearance on the balcony of the embassy in London where he has been holed up for almost five years.

"Under house arrest and almost five years in this embassy without sunlight,” he said.

"Seven years without charge while my children grew up without me. This is not something that I can forgive. It is not something that I can forget.” - INM