International World Assange sentenced to nearly a year in prison for bail breach

Assange sentenced to nearly a year in prison for bail breach

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

UPDATE: A British judge on Wednesday sentenced WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions in 2012.

Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden and was only last month after Ecuador withdrew his asylum status.


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be sentenced Wednesday for breaching a British order seven years ago, when he took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden.

- Advertisement -

The Australian whistleblower, who was arrested on April 11 after Ecuador gave him up, raised a clenched fist as he arrived in a prison van at Southwark Crown Court.

A handful of supporters held up placards saying “Free Julian Assange” ahead of the hearing, in which he could face a 12-month prison sentence.

Assange fled to Ecuador’s embassy in 2012 after a British judge ordered his extradition to face Swedish allegations of sexual assault and rape, which he strongly denied.

He claimed the allegations were a pretext to transfer him to the United States, where he feared prosecution over the release by WikiLeaks of millions of classified documents.

- Advertisement -

There is no longer an active investigation in Sweden and the extradition request has lapsed.

However, the 47-year- is facing a US extradition request, which was only revealed following his dramatic arrest, when he was dragged shouting from the embassy by police.

– US hearing on Thursday –

Assange appeared in court within hours of his arrest, and a judge found him guilty of breaching his bail conditions.

Any sentence handed down on Wednesday is likely to take into account the past few weeks spent in jail.

- Advertisement -

The biggest concern for his lawyers is the US extradition request. An initial hearing in the case is set for this Thursday.

The US indictment charges him with “conspiracy” for working with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password stored on Department of Defence computers in March 2010.

Manning passed hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, exposing US military wrongdoing in the Iraq war and diplomatic secrets about scores of countries around the world.

Assange could face up to five years in jail if found guilty, although his team is fighting his extradition and the process could take years.

The charge has raised serious concerns among organisations advocating free speech, including politicians such as British opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

WikiLeaks is also back in the news in the United States, over its alleged role in the leak of Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016 US presidential election.

The Swedish claims against Assange date back to 2010, when he was at the centre of a global storm over WikiLeaks’ exposures.

The sexual assault claim expired in 2015, but while the rape claim was dropped in 2017, the alleged victim wants the case reopened.

If Stockholm makes a formal extradition request, Britain must decide whether to consider before or after that of the United States.

A group of British lawmakers have urged the Swedish case to take precedence, saying the rights of the alleged victims must not be lost in the political row.

ar/dt/wdb

/AFP

Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

S’porean woman, 83, dies from Covid-19 complications; Jurong Fishery Port cluster reaches 741

Singapore — An 83-year-old Singaporean woman has passed away from Covid-19 complications. She was not vaccinated against Covid-19, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported on Saturday (Jul 24). The woman resided at Bukit Merah View and was linked to the 121 Bukit...

MAS’ Ravi Menon: Minimum wage can be considered to uplift those with lowest income

Singapore — The managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore floated the possibility of having a minimum wage to help those with the smallest incomes although he warned it would not do much to address income inequality. Speaking on the topic...

Covid-19: KTV cluster, Jurong Fishery Port outbreak and unvaccinated elderly are three missteps too many

Three missteps have brought Singapore to the current Phase Two Heightened Alert. As a result, Singaporeans are “biting the bullet” until three a half weeks later when it is unclear, at this stage, whether things will get much better. The most ridiculous...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent