- Court case regarding the U.S. requests for the extradition of Julian Assange to open on May 2, 2019
- Judge sentences Assange to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail conditions
- WikiLeaks founder fears being extradited to the U.S. due to life threats from politicians
A court battle pertaining to the U.S. request for the extradition of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder will be opened on May 2, 2019. The founder has also been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching British orders in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, according to The Guardian’s report on May 1, 2019.
U.S. Request for Julian Assange’s Extradition to Commence Today
Per the report, a court opening in regard to the U.S. request for Julian Assange’s extradition will commence on Thursday morning after he had breached bail conditions to prevent his extradition to Sweden over sexual allegations.
The allegations which the Australian has denied were made in 2012 when he had sought refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy as a ploy to avoid his extradition to Sweden.
A Judge who made comments said it was difficult to envision a more serious example of the offense and has, therefore, rejected the mitigating circumstances presented by the founder’s lawyers.
Judge Deborah Taylor Sentences Julian Assange to 50 Weeks in Jail
Consequently, Judge Deborah Taylor at the Southwark crown court on Wednesday sentenced Assange to 50 weeks in jail which is a two-week decline from the maximum under guidelines. It has also been counted against the time that had been spent being remanded since his arrest on April 11, 2019.
While making comments, the Judge said he had sought refuge in the embassy for almost seven years, took advantage of the opportunity to go against the law, and even publicized internationally his disdain for the law of the U.K.
Judge Taylor further outlined that Assange’s actions had impacted on the progress of the Swedish proceedings and even though he had cooperated initially, it was not in his place to decide the nature or level of cooperation that was to be offered during investigations.
Assange Was Arrested in April After Ecuador’s Revoke of His Political Asylum
Assange, on the other hand, was arrested in April after Ecuador revoked his political asylum in the country and went as far as inviting the Metropolitan law officials into the country’s Knightsbridge diplomatic premises.
The founder had written a letter stated that he regrets his actions and claimed that he didn’t have any choice left. He also apologized to as many who feel he had disrespected them due to the way he pursued his case.
According to him:
“I did what I thought at the time was the best and perhaps the only thing that could be done – which I hoped might lead to a legal resolution being reached between Ecuador and Sweden that would protect me from the worst of my fears.”
While responding, the Judge outlined that the founder’s apology was the first recognition that he has regretted his actions.
The Judge also pointed out the essence of ensuring that nobody is above the law and that Assage’s continued stay there had cost £16m of taxpayers’ money in a bid to ensure that when he left, he was brought to justice.
Assange’s lawyers are also wary of threats which could be life-threatening to the founder if he is extradited from Sweden to the U.S.
Mark Summers QC also revealed to the court that the founder is fearful that his work on Wikileaks could lead to a rendition to Guantanamo Bay or the US, and he could possibly face a death penalty.