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Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for 'bail-jumping'

May 1, 2019 2:21 P.M. (Updated: May 3, 2019 3:56 P.M.)
LONDON (Ma'an) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for “bail-jumping” about seven years ago after Ecuador withdrew his political asylum, on Wednesday.

Assange, 47, was sentenced to a maximum sentence of a year in prison at London's Southwark Crown Court.

Assange broke his bail conditions when he took refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London 2012 to avoid being extradited, in order to not face charges in the United States, where federal prosecutors are investigating WikiLeaks.

However, Assange was dramatically arrested in April after the Ecuadorean government's withdrew his political asylum.

It is noteworthy that WikiLeaks said that Ecuador had allegedly "illegally" withdrew from Assange's political asylum in violation of international law.

During the hearing, Assange’s lawyer, Mark Summers, read aloud a handwritten letter in which Assange wrote that “I apologize unreservedly” for seeking refuge at Ecuador’s embassy.

Assange wrote, “I found myself struggling with terrifying circumstances. I did what I thought at the time was the best and only solution.”

Summers also argued that Assange failed to surrender to a British court seven years ago and so violated his bail as he had a “reasonable fear” that if he were extradited to Sweden, he would then be extradited to the US and even be sent to Guantanamo Bay.

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