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Pope Francis meets with Julian Assange’s wife and family in the Vatican

The Vatican released no details about the Pope's private meeting with Stella Assange.

The Vatican released no details about the Pope's private meeting with Stella Assange. Photo: Getty

Pope Francis has granted an audience to the wife of Julian Assange, the Australian founder of WikiLeaks who is behind bars in Britain and battling extradition to the United States.

“The Holy Father has received in audience Mrs Stella Assange, with family members,” a Vatican statement said on Friday, with no further details.

Stella Assange is fronting the campaign to have her husband freed, but the Vatican did not say if this was discussed in the meeting or if the Pope expressed any support for it.

A Vatican spokesman said papal audiences are private affairs.

Assange is wanted in the US over the release of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables in 2010.

His supporters see his prosecution as a politically motivated assault on journalism and free speech.

Washington says the release of the documents had put lives in danger.

-AAP

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