Wikileaks founder Assange sentenced to 50 weeks for bail-jumping

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FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2016 file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Assange will be interviewed about Swedish sex crime allegations at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. The interview will be conducted by an Ecuadorean prosecutor, with a Swedish […]

LONDON (AP) — A British judge has sentenced WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail in 2012.

Judge Deborah Taylor said Wednesday that Assange merited near the maximum sentence of one year because of the seriousness of his offense.

She rejected his claim for leniency based on the nearly seven years he spent in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

The white-haired Assange stood impassively with his hands clasped while the sentence was read. His supporters in the public gallery chanted “Shame on you” at the judge as Assange was led away.

Assange sought asylum in the South American country’s London embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations.

Earlier, his lawyers argued that he had jumped bail because he was a “desperate man” fearing extradition to the United States.

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