A judge sentenced WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about Wednesday in prison for holing up in London and skipping bail.
Judge Deborah Taylor appeared unimpressed by Assange’s written apology and his lawyer’s argument that he sought refuge from the embassy due to overwhelming fear of being obtained from Sweden, in which he faced sexual misconduct allegations, to the U.S. to face individual charges linked to his WikiLeaks action.
“It is essential to the rule of law that nobody is above or beyond the reach of law enforcement,” Taylor stated. “Orders of the court should be obeyed.”
The Australian secret-spiller had lived because June 2012 in the South American country’s London embassy to prevent extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations made by two women.
British authorities arrested him April 11 after Ecuador revoked his asylum, telling him of everything from meddling in the country’s foreign affairs to bad hygiene.
Assange faces another court hearing Thursday to get a U.S. extradition petition. Assange has billed .
Assange stood with his hands. His supporters from the gallery in Southwark Crown Court cheered for him because he left and chanted”Shame on you” in the judge as Assange was headed away. He raised his fist.
With his white hair coiffed and wearing a sports jacket and sweater, Assange appeared healthier and considerably more youthful than once he had been hauled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy by British police.
At the moment, sporting an amazing beard and long hair, he seemed mad and wild-eyed. This time he was written and for the most part though the judge to challenge her on her characterization of their sexual misconduct allegations was interrupted by him he confronted in Sweden.
His attorney read a short letter from Assange into the judge in which he apologized”unreservedly” to anyone who felt his activities were disrespectful.
“I found myself fighting with terrifying situations for which neither I nor those from whom I sought information could work out any remedy,” he stated in the letter. “I did exactly what I thought at the time was the very best and perhaps the one thing that could be accomplished.”
Sweden suspended its investigation into potential misconduct from Assange two years back while he was living in the embassy, because he was beyond their reach. Prosecutors have said that evaluation might be restored if his situation changed.
Assange’s lawyer Mark Summers told a courtroom packed with supporters and WikiLeaks supporters that his customer sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy since”he had been residing with overwhelming fear of being rendered to the U.S.” over his WikiLeaks actions.
He said Assange had a”well-founded” fear that he could be mistreated and maybe sent into the U.S. detention camp for terrorism suspects in Guantanamo Bay.
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said after the statute the extradition battle with all the U.S. is currently the”big fight” confronting Assange.
There was a small gathering of vocal supporters outside the courthouse. 1 person was dressed to highlight Assange’s function .
Associated Press writer Jill Lawless contributed.