Just three weeks ago, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, was pulled out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London and arrested by British police. Since 2012, the UK has had a warrant for Assange’s arrest, now after a sentencing hearing at Southwark Crown Court, he has been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail.
Unsurprisingly, the WikiLeaks Twitter account has already responded to Assange’s sentence, stating that it is “as shocking as it is vindictive”. WikiLeaks also says it has “concerns as to whether he will receive a fair extradition hearing in the UK”.
Assange was granted asylum status at the Ecuadorian embassy in London back in 2012, all in an effort to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was facing rape accusations. Swedish prosecutors eventually dropped the case against Assange but UK authorities still wanted to arrest him for violating bail conditions.
UK bail violations aren’t the only legal issues that the WikiLeaks founder has to worry about though. Assange was also arrested on behalf of the United States, which is charging him with offences relating to the publishing of sensitive US military documents, leaked by Chelsea Manning. After serving his 50 week sentence in the UK, Assange will face extradition to the US to face charges there.
KitGuru Says: Julian Assange has now been sentenced in the UK, but the charges imposed by the US are going to be his bigger concern. Assange will be back in court later this week for a hearing on the US extradition request, so we’ll be getting more news on this very soon.