Assange gets 50 weeks in UK jail. Extradition to US probable

Judge's remarks at Assange sentencing
Judge’s remarks at Assange sentencing

Julian Assange was just sentenced to 50 weeks in British jail for jumping bail. The judge was clearly annoyed at Assange and his lame arguments, like him saying time spent in the Ecuador embassy should count against his sentence. Nope, she said, you were there voluntarily and could have left at any time.

Assange will probably serve 25 weeks, assuming he doesn’t violate any conditions of his imprisonment. The US has an indictment against Assange for one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, and presumably will attempt to extradite. A superseding indictment of far more serious charges is almost certain. The current charge is basically a placeholder. It is not a given Assange will be allowed bail out after being released if the US wants extradition.

Judge’s remarks:

Whilst you may have had fears as to what may happen to you, nonetheless you had a choice, and the course of action you chose was to commit this offence in the manner and with the features I have already outlined. In addition, I reject the suggestion that your voluntary residence in the Embassy should reduce any sentence. You were not living under prison conditions, and you could have left at any time to face due process with the rights and protections which the legal system in
this country provides.

In respect of this offence you would fall to be released after serving half of the sentence, subject to
being returned to custody if you commit any further offences during the remainder of your licence
period. That of course is subject to the conditions and outcome of any other proceedings against
you.

Human Rights lawyer Karen Todler says Assange may try various ploys to avoid extradition however she doubts they will be successful.

“I think he’s got a chance, but I think it’s going to be very, very difficult for him and I can’t see him being successful.

“He has worn down the patience of the judiciary by hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years.

“I feel quite confident that the judiciary will have to be impartial, but if there was any good will, it’s been exhausted.”