Assange gets year of UK jail, faces extradition

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 2, 2019 - Duration: 01:15s

Assange gets year of UK jail, faces extradition

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison in the United Kingdom for skipping bail when he fled to the Ecuadorean embassy.

Thursday will decide whether he is extradited to the U.S. over the infamous 2010 military and diplomatic leaks.

Mia Womersley reports.

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Assange gets year of UK jail, faces extradition

EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: RESENDING SCRIPT AND VIDEO CORRECTING FIRST MENTION OF "THURSDAY" TO "WEDNESDAY".

A British court has sentenced Julian Assange to just under a year for skipping bail - 50 weeks - over the incident seven years ago when he fled into the Ecuador embassy to claim asylum.

The founder of Wikileaks was kept mostly away from cameras on Wednesday (May 1).

Inside the court, Assange's lawyer said that his client was afraid in 2012 that he would be sent to Sweden over a sexual assault investigation, and then extradited to the notorious American Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.

The lawyer cited the treatment of Chelsea Manning as an example.

Manning is said to have been forced to parade naked while in a military prison and subject to sleep deprivation.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KRISTINN HRAFNSSON, WIKILEAKS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SAYING: "The fight continues.

Tomorrow is the big fight, the start of the big and most important fight." Whether or not Assange serves out this sentence in the UK isn't immediately clear.

On Thursday (May 2) another court hearing will consider whether to extradite Assange to the United States on charges that he conspired with Manning to gain access to a government computer during the 2010 incident that vaulted Wikileaks into global headlines.

Manning, through Wikileaks, released hundreds of thousands of internal documents - many embarrassing - pertaining to American foreign policy and its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It included video of a U.S. military helicopter killing a dozen civilians in Iraq, including two Reuters journalists.

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