A Tauranga lawyer is part of Julian Assange's legal team.

Craig Tuck, Head of LawAid International Chambers, was with Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for meetings prior to Christmas 2018.

Tuck released a statement regarding his involvement, saying Julian Assange is currently in custody, awaiting decisions on extradition brought by both the US and Swedish authorities.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo / AP
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Photo / AP

The new charges supersede the previous indictment and include allegations of violations of the Espionage Act (1917), along with conspiring to break into government computers (computer intrusion), the statement read.

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These new charges carry the maximum penalty of death.

Tuck said that the charges are dangerous for any journalists, including those in New Zealand, who uncover secrets of other nations. Everyone, not just journalists, should care about that - if they value transparency and democracy.