WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions in 2012 and finding asylum into Ecuador’s London embassy for more than seven years.
Seven years ago, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case.
In 2012 a British judge ruled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault there, but Assange received political asylum from Ecuador and spent the last years in its London embassy.
Immediately after his arrest, Assange was convicted at Westminster Magistrates’ Court of jumping the bail in June 2012 after the extradition order to Sweden.
In 2017, Sweden dropped the preliminary investigation into the rape accusation against Julian Assange, but Wikileaks founder remained into the Ecuadorian Embassy
Judge Deborah Taylor said that Assange’s conduct had cost 16 million pounds of British taxpayers money.
“Your continued residency has cost £16m of taxpayers’ money. No one is above the reach of the law.” said Judge Deborah Taylor while delivering sentence at Southwark
“It’s difficult to envisage a more serious example of this offence.”
“I have taken into account all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation, including the background history of this case which has been set out in some detail,” said HHJ Taylor as she summed up the case against Assange.”
“Whilst you may have had fears as to what may happen to you, nonetheless you had a choice, and the course of action you chose was to commit this offence in the manner and with the features I have already outlined. In addition, I reject the suggestion that your voluntary residence in the Embassy should reduce any sentence. You were not living under prison conditions, and you could have left at any time to face due process with the rights and protections which the legal system in this country provides.”
“I apologize unreservedly to those who consider that I have disrespected them by the way I have pursued my case. This is not what I wanted or intended,” Assange added.
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