WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail after he was found guilty of breaching bail in Britain, multiple news outlets are reporting.
The news came nearly three weeks after London Metropolitan police arrested Assange for “failing to surrender to the court” in connection with a 2012 warrant, authorities said in an April 11 press release. Police escorted the 47-year-old Australia native out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he had been staying for nearly seven years, shortly after Ecuador withdrew his asylum, authorities said.
When Assange originally sought asylum, he had been facing extradition to Sweden in connection with a sexual assault case, CNN reported. Although those charges were eventually dropped, he stayed in the embassy “because he feared arrest and extradition to the United States for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks,” The Associated Press reported.
Assange also faces an extradition request from the United States. A court hearing about that request is scheduled for Thursday, USA Today reported.
In an indictment unsealed April 11 by the U.S. Justice Department, officials said Assange was suspected of conspiring with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer.
The federal charge stems from March 2010, when authorities say Assange “agreed to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on United State Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network, a United States government network used for classified documents and communications.”
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