Craig Tuck, the Tauranga-based human rights and criminal lawyer is helping Wikileaks’ Julian Assange fight his extradition to the United States.
Tuck is head of LawAid International Chambers and claims the attempts to extradict and charge Assange are a dangerous precedent for journalists.
His LawAid Chambers claims that “We are a global network of specialist human rights lawyers and defence counsel who represent clients who are accused or condemned – wherever they may be.”
Cambridge-educated lawyer Tuck has handled a range of cases including representing drug smugglers in New Zealand and he was also part of the legal team trying to save British grandmother Lindsey Sandford who faced drug smuggling charges.
He has directly acted for victims of human trafficking, security personnel, rock stars, diplomats, people charged with organized crime or detained abroad and has taken numerous cases against government departments – including Police, Justice and Corrections and others.
He was with Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy where they held meetings before Christmas 2018. Assange was arrested at this Embassy in April, having sought refuge there since 2012.
The new charges Assange faces supersede the previous indictment and include allegations of violations of the Espionage Act (1917), along with conspiring to break into government computers (computer intrusion). These new charges carry the maximum penalty of death.
Mr Tuck considers that the extraordinarily harsh sentence of imprisonment for a first bail breach (when there was no substantive charge, for which bail was imposed) creates stress and uncertainty for a person who has demonstrably shown his commitment to democracy, freedom of speech and truth.