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1 May, 2019 16:38

‘A complete scandal’: WikiLeaks supporters slam Assange’s 50 week jail sentence for bail violation

‘A complete scandal’: WikiLeaks supporters slam Assange’s 50 week jail sentence for bail violation

News of Julian Assange’s harsh sentencing for skipping bail has been met with condemnation and outrage online, with WikiLeaks slamming the punishment as being as “shocking as it is vindictive.”

The WikiLeaks founder was sentenced by the Southwark Crown Court to 50 weeks for “violating bail conditions” in 2012, when he sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden where he feared being extradited to the US.

Also on rt.com Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for jumping bail in UK

Assange is also facing a court hearing on extradition to the US where he faces charges of “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion,” over allegations he may have tried to help whistleblower Chelsea Manning who leaked documents that were published by WikiLeaks.  

Supporters expressed outrage at the harsh sentencing, which is just two weeks shy of the maximum sentence that can be applied. WikiLeaks said it has “grave concerns as to whether he will receive a fair extradition hearing in the UK.”

Many voiced concerns that Assange’s long prison sentence and the conditions he will be imprisoned under will make preparing for his extradition case difficult.

A letter Assange wrote was given to the judge in court, which said he apologized for the way he pursued his case, saying he faced “difficult circumstances.”

"It's difficult to envisage a more serious example of this offense," Judge Deborah Taylor said, accusing Assange of “deliberately” putting himself out of reach and of exploiting his “privileged position to flout the law.” Meanwhile, the US request to extradite Assange from the UK is due to be heard on Thursday.

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