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Julian Assange has paid a heavy price for his leaks – the US should let him go home | Simon Jenkins

From Joe Biden’s point of view, returning the WikiLeaks founder to Australia and consigning him to history may be the wisest move

The Julian Assange farce has run its time. He should be left to return to his homeland of Australia. Yet another appeal against successive British court decisions to extradite him to the US has been allowed. It merely prolongs the tedium. Washington should consider Assange’s more than a decade on the run to be penalty enough for his past sins. It should not want to see its own record in Afghanistan and Iraq revived before the court of world opinion.

Like many freelancers in the undergrowth of espionage, Assange is no knight in shining armour. Phone hacking is an infringement of privacy to which he first pleaded guilty in 1996 in Australia. He then graduated to state secrets. Some such secrets may require the protection of the law, including those concerning individuals as well as private advice and information. Others undoubtedly merit public concern.

Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist

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