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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Sentenced to Jail For 50 Weeks for Skipping Bail in 2012

Assange, who was dragged out of the embassy last month and charged by the United States for one of the biggest ever leaks of classified information, was convicted last month of skipping bail in 2012.

Reuters

Updated:May 1, 2019, 4:24 PM IST
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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Sentenced to Jail For 50 Weeks for Skipping Bail in 2012
File photo of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
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London: A London court on Wednesday sentenced WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to 50 weeks in prison for skipping bail to enter the Ecuadorean embassy seven years ago.

Assange, who was dragged out of the embassy last month and charged by the United States for one of the biggest ever leaks of classified information, was convicted last month of skipping bail in 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over an allegation of rape. The maximum sentence is a year in jail.

"I apologise unreservedly to those who consider I have disrespected them by the way I have pursued my case," Assange said in a letter that was read to the court by his lawyer, Mark Summers.

"I found myself struggling with terrifying circumstances. I did at the time what I thought was best."

Summers told the court that Assange had "strongly held fears" in 2012 that he would be sent from Sweden to the United States and ultimately to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba.

Summers cited the arrest and treatment of Chelsea Manning, a U.S. Army soldier who served seven years in military prison for leaking classified data while she was working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.

Just hours after Assange was removed from the Ecuadorean embassy on April 11, U.S. prosecutors said they had charged Assange with conspiracy in trying to access a classified U.S. government computer with Manning in 2010.

Assange's lawyer said Manning, who is transgender, had been subjected to sleep deprivation and forced to parade naked in front of military personnel.

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