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Thursday, 02 May 2019 07:39

Assange jailed for 50 weeks over skipping bail

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Assange jailed for 50 weeks over skipping bail Courtesy YouTube

WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for skipping bail in 2012 and taking refuge in the Ecuador embassy in London.

Assange was arrested by British police on 11 April after Ecuador withdrew its asylum and appeared in court shortly thereafter. He was found guilty of skipping bail and remanded to custody.

He was separately charged in relation to the US indictment and will appear in court on 2 May (Friday AEST) in connection with these charges.

The US indictment says the charges levelled at Assange carry a maximum prison term of five years.

Assange's lawyers argued on Wednesday that he had skipped bail as he was desperate to avoid extradition to the US over the release of thousands of documents relating to the US invasion of Iraq and the Afghanistan operation.

But Reuters reported that Judge Deborah Taylor told Assange: “Whilst you may have had fears as to what may happen to you, nonetheless you had a choice.

“It is difficult to envisage a more serious example of this offence.”

In a letter to Judge Thomas, read out at the hearing, Assange apologised for the way things had turned out.

“I apologise 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,” he said in the letter read out by his lawyer, Mark Summers.

“I found myself struggling with terrifying circumstances for which neither I nor those from whom I sought advice could work out any remedy. I did what I thought at the time was the best.”

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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