Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in prison over bail breach
A British judge announced the decision on Wednesday saying, it was hard to imagine a more serious version of the offense.
The judge said Assange's seven years in the embassy had cost British taxpayers 16 million pounds ($21 million), and said he sought asylum as a “deliberate attempt to delay justice.”
The 47-year-old hacker was present in Southwark Crown Court when the verdict was announced with his supporters chanting “Shame on you” at the judge.
Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange arrested in ... 02:54 PM | 11 Apr, 2019
LONDON – Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in the British capital, ...
Assange's lawyer Mark Summers told the courtroom that his client sought refuge in the Embassy because he was living with 'overwhelming fear of being rendered to the United States'.
He said Assange had a 'well-founded' fear that he would be mistreated and possibly relocated to the US detention camp for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay.
"As threats rained down on him from America, they overshadowed everything," he said.
Summers also read a letter from Assange, apologizing for his behavior in 2012 and saying “I did what I thought was best.”
“I found myself struggling with terrifying circumstances,” the letter stated.
Julian Assange was carted out of the embassy on April 11 after Ecuador revoked his political asylum, and accused him of almost everything from meddling in the nation's foreign affairs to poor hygiene.
The grey-haired tech genius faces a separate court hearing on Thursday on a US extradition request; American authorities have charged him with conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system.
According to an article by The Economist, the recent agreement between IMF and Ecuador could have played a part in the arrest of Assange.
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