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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Sentenced to 50 Weeks in Jail, Still Faces Extradition to US

The Wrap Wednesday, 1 May 2019
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for jumping bail in the U.K. seven years ago and seeking refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London.

The sentencing comes one day before a scheduled hearing in another London court over extradition to the U.S., where Assange has been charged with conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer network and the subsequent release of thousands of classified U.S. government documents. (He has denied the charge.)

Deborah Taylor, the judge at London’s Southwark Crown Court, said she chose a near-maximum sentence because of Assange’s “deliberate attempt to delay justice,” according to USA Today. She also said that the Australian national’s seven years of asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy had cost British taxpayers about $21 million.

*Also Read:* 'SNL': Julian Assange, Played by Michael Keaton, Goes to Prison With Lori Loughlin and Michael Avenatti

Assange was arrested last month inside the Ecuadorian embassy after the nation’s president revoked political asylum that had been granted in June 2012 so Assange could avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations. (Those charges were subsequently dropped, though Sweden has left open the possibility it could still pursue its criminal case, according to the New York Times.)

“Julian Assange’s sentence is as shocking as it is vindictive,” WikiLeaks said in a tweet. “We have grave concerns as to whether he will receive a fair extradition hearing in the U.K.”

*Related stories from TheWrap:*

'SNL': Julian Assange, Played by Michael Keaton, Goes to Prison With Lori Loughlin and Michael Avenatti

Julian Assange Found Guilty by UK Court of Failing to Surrender on 2012 Rape Charges

Pamela Anderson Denounces UK After Julian Assange Arrest: 'You Are America's Bitch'
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News video: Assange gets year of UK jail, faces extradition

Assange gets year of UK jail, faces extradition 01:35

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison in the United Kingdom for skipping bail when he fled to the Ecuadorean embassy. Thursday will decide whether he is extradited to the U.S. over the infamous 2010 military and diplomatic leaks. Matthew Larotonda reports.

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