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A British judge has sentenced WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail 7 years ago and seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
“It is essential to the rule of law that nobody is above or beyond the reach of the law,” Judge Deborah Taylor said. “Orders of the court are to be obeyed.”
Assange’s lawyer argued his client only sought refuge in the embassy because he was afraid if he went back to Sweden – where he was wanted for questioning in connection to rape and sexual misconduct allegations – he would then be sent to the United States to face charges related to the WikiLeaks publishing of secret government documents.
Despite providing the court with a written apology, Judge Taylor – according to the Associated Press – pointed out Assange had “not surrendered willingly and was only facing the court because the government of Ecuador withdrew their protection last month.”