Julian Assange appears in London court for sentencing over breaking bail

Chelsea Manning in her first public appearance in London in 2018 since she was convicted in 2010 to seven years jail time for leaking US government documents

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced by a London court on Wednesday to 50 weeks in jail for skipping bail.

Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador after the UK Supreme Court upheld a ruling that he should be extradited to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.

In a letter read out on his behalf, Assange expressed regret, saying: "I did what I thought at the time was the best or perhaps the only thing that I could have done".

The Wikileaks founder was led from the dock with his fist raised in defiance as he received close to the maximum sentence of a year for breach of bail.

In sentencing him, Judge Deborah Taylor told Assange it was hard to envisage a more serious example of the offence. Assange and his backers have argued that he could face the death penalty in the USA and that Britain, which abolished capital punishment decades ago, should not send him there.

"As threats rained down on him from America, they overshadowed everything as far as he was concerned", the lawyer said. They responded by raising theirs and shouting "Shame on you!" towards the court. American authorities have charged him with conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system.

The UK will decide whether to extradite Assange to the United States in response to allegations that he conspired with former U.S. intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to download classified databases.

The secret spiller faced up to a year in prison.

"His behaviour is that of a narcissist who can not get past his own self-interest", Justice Snow said in his judgment.



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