Wikileaks founder Assange jailed 50 weeks for skipping bail
A Southwark Crown Court in London has
sentenced Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder of 50 weeks in jail for breaching
Assange had jumped bail seven years ago and
sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy, over fears of extradition to the
He was arraigned before the court on 11
April after Ecuador cancelled his asylum and turned him over to the British
police. He pleaded not guilty.
The whistle-blower appeared on Wednesday
before the Court wearing a black jacket over a grey sweatshirt.
While in court, he confirmed his name and
took a sip of water from a plastic cup, Reuters reported.
Apart from skipping bail, Assange also
faces another separate case of extradition by the United States.
Although Washington quietly requested his
extradition in 2016, the US Justice Department announced conspiracy charges
against Assange in April, stemming from his role in publishing classified
military documents leaked by US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning in 2010.
Assange faces a “federal charge of
conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a
classified U.S. government computer,” according to the Justice Department.
Rather than actually hacking into
government networks himself, Assange is merely accused of encouraging Manning
to do so.
The British judge said on Thursday that the
US must produce its case for Assange’s extradition by June 12.
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