Wikileaks founder Assange jailed 50 weeks for skipping bail

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A Southwark Crown Court in London has sentenced Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder of 50 weeks in jail for breaching bail conditions.

Assange had jumped bail seven years ago and sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy, over fears of extradition to the United States.

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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