Politics

WikiLeaks founder Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in UK prison for skipping bail

Key Points
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for ignoring a British court order and taking refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London.
  • At the time, he was attempting to avoid extradition to Sweden.
  • Assange also faces an extradition request by the U.S. over charges relating to computer hacking and publishing classified documents.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at court in London on May 1, 2019 to be sentenced for bail violation.
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS | AFP | Getty Images

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced Wednesday to 50 weeks in jail for ignoring a British court order seven years ago by taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Assange, 47, arrested on April 11 after the Ecuadorian government gave him up, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in London.

Assange sought asylum in the embassy in 2012 in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to face charges of sexual assault and rape.

The Swedish investigation has since lapsed but a lawyer for an alleged victim has suggested the charges could be resurrected.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces conspiracy charges in United States after arrest in London

Assange also faces an extradition request by the United States, where authorities plan to press charges related to the release of millions of classified documents by WikiLeaks.

On the same day that Assange was arrested and carried from the embassy, the U.S. Justice Department announced a criminal charge, accusing him of conspiring with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a classified government computer.

Read the full U.S. indictment against Assange here: