WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrived at Southwark Crown Courtroom in central London Wednesday elevating a defiant fist in entrance of cameras, earlier than being sentenced to 50 weeks behind bars for leaping bail in 2012.
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Assange skipped bail and stayed on the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to keep away from extradition to Sweden, the place he was wished on sexual assault allegations, which he has denied. He was arrested on the embassy in mid-April.
In a letter learn to the courtroom, Assange apologized to those that “contemplate I’ve disrespected them,” and mentioned he had struggled in troublesome circumstances.
British Choose Deborah Taylor handed him a sentence slightly below the utmost time period for the offense, which was a full 12 months, saying he displayed a “disdain for the regulation of this nation.”
The choose mentioned Assange ought to have left the embassy to face due course of “with the rights and protections which the authorized system on this nation offers.”
Taylor additionally threw out a suggestion from his protection that his seven years within the embassy ought to have offset any jail sentence. He’ll face no less than half his sentence behind bars if he doesn’t commit additional crimes.
Elizabeth Cook dinner/AP
That is removed from the top of Assange’s authorized troubles.
He’s additionally wished within the U.S. in reference to one of many largest thefts of categorised authorities data in American historical past. The U.Okay. has an extradition treaty with the U.S., relying on an assurance that wished individuals don’t face the loss of life penalty, which is outlawed within the U.Okay.
Hours after he was arrested by British authorities in April, U.S. prosecutors introduced costs in opposition to him for allegedly conspiring with former intelligence officer Chelsea Manning to realize illegal entry to a authorities laptop.
The indictment, which was filed in March 2018, claims Assange helped Manning crack a password on a Pentagon laptop.
In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in jail for the offense, however her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama as one in every of his last acts in workplace.
In the meantime, Assange had fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in June 2012, the place he remained till this previous April 11. Whereas the Ecuadorians had been staunch advocates of his safety, in recent times the connection between them and Assange soured.
WikiLeaks continued to publish controversial materials, together with stolen materials from the Democratic Nationwide Committee throughout 2016. This brought on discomfort for the Ecuadorians, who minimize off his communications in March.
Relations additional deteriorated after the 2017 election of Lenin Moreno, who described Assange as “a spoiled brat” and “a thorn in our aspect” after he was ousted from the embassy. Moreno repeated allegations by embassy employees that Assange displayed aggressive habits and smeared feces on partitions.