Speed Reads


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hit with 50-week prison sentence for skipping bail

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to almost a year in prison.

Assange on Wednesday received a 50-week prison sentence in the U.K. for skipping bail, NBC News reports. This sentence is separate from the conspiracy charge Assange faces in the United States. Instead, it relates to Assange fleeing to Ecuador's London embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden while he was facing sexual assault and rape charges.

This violated the conditions of his bail, which Assange's lawyers said he did because he was a "desperate man" who feared being extradited to the United States, Politico reports. Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced Assange to what comes close to the maximum of a year in prison.

The Ecuadorian government withdrew Assange's asylum in April, and he was arrested for failing to surrender to court. Meanwhile, Assange faces a charge in the United States of conspiring to hack a Pentagon computer network, and the U.S. is seeking his extradition. He has denied the charge and said he will fight the extradition. A hearing over this charge is scheduled for Thursday, CNN reports.