Julian Assange Sentenced to Nearly a Year in Jail

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail Wednesday for jumping bail when he took refuge inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Assange was arrested last month after spending nearly seven years inside the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced sexual assault allegations. He told Southwark Crown Court in South London on Wednesday that “I did what I thought at the time was the best or perhaps the only thing that I could have done,” the BBC reported.

Assange also apologized to those who “consider I’ve disrespected them.” Ecuadorean officials, who decided to revoke his asylum and give him up to British authorities, complained of erratic, aggressive and unsanitary behavior by Assange inside the embassy, which is located in one of toniest parts of London.

“The patience of Ecuador has reached its limit,” Lenin Moreno, Ecuador’s president, said at the time.

Sweden dropped its investigation into Assange in May 2017, citing statute of limitations. But the U.S. has requested that Assange be extradited there face charges over the leak of a massive trove of classified American military documents. Assange and his backers have argued that he could face the death penalty in the U.S. and that Britain, which abolished capital punishment decades ago, should not send him there.

In video footage of his arrest last month by officers from Scotland Yard, Assange can be heard saying: “The U.K. must resist this attempt by the Trump administration.” An extradition hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

Shortly after his arrest April 11, Assange was found guilty of breaching bail by a judge who called him a “narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest.”

At Wednesday’s sentencing, Assange’s lawyer, Mark Summers, asked that the court take into account the fear his client felt at the prospect of being delivered to U.S. authorities. “As threats rained down on him from America, they overshadowed everything,” Summers said.

After Assange was given his 50-week jail sentence, he reportedly raised his fist in defiance in the courtroom, which was packed with supporters who shouted “Shame on you!” at court authorities.

More Politics

  • Robert Mueller Report

    Robert Mueller Agrees to Publicly Testify to Congress

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees on July 17, the committee chairmen announced on Tuesday. Mueller has resisted testifying, saying the special counsel’s report on Russian election interference and obstruction ought to speak for itself. In a public statement on May 29, he said that any [...]


    Quality Control's Coach K Says Abortion Ban Has Already Impacted Business in Atlanta

    A who’s who of black entertainment and tech filled the Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom on June 22 for the 4th annual Culture Creators Innovators and Leaders Awards brunch. Honorees included Byron Allen, who received the Icon Award; actress and executive producer Marsai Martin, who was named Innovator of the Year; and Quality Control Music founders [...]

  • Wyclef Jeans Warns Democrats: 'Trump Can

    Wyclef Jean Warns Democrats: 'Trump Can be Re-Elected'

    Wyclef Jean, the actor and rapper who performed the 2016 song “If I Was President,” is no stranger to politics, after trying to run for president of his native Haiti in 2010. At Cannes Lions, the annual advertising conference in the South of France, Jean talked about the future of music but his conversation with [...]

  • Hope Hicks

    Hope Hicks Refused to Answer Committee's Questions 155 Times

    Fox communications chief Hope Hicks refused to answer questions from the House Judiciary Committee on 155 separate occasions during closed-door testimony, the committee chairman said Thursday. The committee released a transcript of the hearing on Thursday afternoon. Prior to the hearing, President Trump directed Hicks not to answer questions about her service as a senior [...]

  • Hope Hicks

    Hope Hicks Gives Closed-Door Interview on Mueller Probe

    Hope Hicks appeared at the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning to give closed-door testimony on her involvement in the special counsel investigation of President Trump. The Fox communications chief was subpoenaed in May to provide documents and testimony that would aid in the committee’s investigation into obstruction of justice. After extensive negotiation, Hicks agreed [...]

  • Prince Mohammed bin Salman Abdulaziz al

    Saudi Crown Prince Should Be Investigated Over Khashoggi Killing, U.N. Report Says

    Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, should be investigated in connection with the killing of Jamal Khashoggi because of “credible evidence” that the prince is among those liable for the dissident journalist’s death, a United Nations report said Wednesday. While no “smoking gun” has yet been found that directly incriminates the prince [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content