LONDON (AP) — Julian Assange’s partner, Stella Moris, has tweeted President Donald Trump on Thanksgiving, appealing to him to pardon the WikiLeaks founder.
Moris posted a photo of their two young children on Twitter Thursday and wrote: “These are Julian’s sons Max and Gabriel. They need their father. Our family needs to be whole again.”
“I beg you, please bring him home for Christmas,” she added.
Assange, 49, remains in a high-security British prison cell as he awaits a judge’s decision about whether he can be sent to the U.S. to face espionage charges.
Moris said he has been confined exclusively to his cell for over a week because of a coronavirus outbreak on his prison block.
Assange attended four weeks of an extradition hearing at London’s Central Criminal Court in September and October. The judge overseeing the case said she would deliver her decision on Jan.4.
U.S. prosecutors have indicted Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret American military documents a decade ago. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.
Assange’s defense team argues that he is a journalist and entitled to First Amendment protections for publishing leaked documents that exposed U.S. military wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also say the conditions he would face in a U.S. prison would breach his human rights.
Assange jumped bail in 2012 and sought asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, which ended up becoming his home for seven years before he was evicted and subsequently arrested. He has been in a London prison since April 2019.