London's Southwark Crown Court sentenced WikLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his UK bail conditions seven years ago
WikLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has been sentenced at London's Southwark Crown Court to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions in the UK and hiding out for seven years in the country's Ecuadorean Embassy.
Assange, who is 47 years old, was arrested in London last month for skipping bail in 2012 in order to avoid being extradited to Sweden on charges of rape and sexual assault.
He sought asylum from Ecuador's embassy in the UK capital, where he was welcomed by the country's then president Rafael Correa. But increased tensions with Correa's successor Lenin Moreno, who said Assange was "discourteous and aggressive" during his seven-year tenure inside the embassy, led to his asylum being withdrawn.
Assange, who is Australian, faces a separate legal fight in the form of an extradition request from the US, where he is charged with conspiring to hack into secret files, and is wanted over an investigation into WikiLeaks' release of classified documents concerning the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A hearing on the US extradition request is due to be held tomorrow.
The US Department of Justice said in April that the charge related specifically over conspiracy to commit computer intrusion "by cracking a password" with US whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who served 7 years in prison for the huge data leak.