Saturday, 24 August, 2019

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange faces sentencing over bail-jumping

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Westminster Magistrates Court after he was arrested in London Britain WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Westminster Magistrates Court after he was arrested in London Britain
Patty Aguilar | 01 May, 2019, 14:23

A British judge sentenced WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday to 50 weeks in prison for skipping bail seven years ago and holing up in the Ecuadorian embassy. He has denied the allegation.

A warrant for his arrest was issued 10 days later.

Assange was arrested inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had been holed up for seven years, on April 11.

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno said the country had withdrawn its offer of asylum and accused Assange of harassing embassy staff.

"On Thursday at 10AM there will be a hearing in Westminster Magistrate Court on the USA extradition request", it said.

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Julian Assange is set to be sentenced today over allegedly breaching bail in the UK.

Assange's barrister, Mark Summers, told the court that Assange had feared "further removal to Sweden and the US" if he was jailed in the United Kingdom - a fear that, ironically, is now coming to pass with tomorrow's scheduled extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court. American authorities have charged Assange with conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system.

"As threats rained down on him from America, they overshadowed everything as far as he was concerned", the lawyer said.

Delivering sentence at Southwark, her honour Judge Deborah Taylor said: "Your continued residency [in Ecuador's London embassy] has cost £16m of taxpayers' money".

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