Robert Stary, Assange’s Melbourne-based lawyer, thinks his client’s defense should be pretty straightforward, because he considers Assange to be a journalist, protected by U.S. First Amendment guarantees of free speech.
But Stary is worried about some possibilities: “Our main concern is really the possible extradition to the U.S. We’ve been troubled by the sort of rhetoric that has come out of various commentators and principally Republican politicians — Sarah Palin and the like — saying Mr. Assange should be executed, assassinated.”
On her Facebook page, Palin suggests that Assange should be “pursued with the same urgency as al-Qaida and Taliban leaders.”
Anyone who incites others to commit violence against his client, even outside Australia, Stary says, is violating Australian law, and can be held accountable for it.
“Certainly if Sarah Palin or any of those other politicians come to Australia, for whatever purpose, then we can initiate a private prosecution, and that’s what we intend to do,” Stary said.