Five things to know about Julian Assange


Five things to know about Julian Assange
  1. Five things to know about Julian Assange
    mwcnews.net
    The founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since…
    World

The founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012.

Julian Assange

When did Julian Assange come to prominence?

Julian Assange first caught the world's attention when his website, WikiLeaks, in 2007 released leaked manuals for US prison guards at Guantanamo Bay.

But Assange became significantly more prominent in 2010 when he worked with several major news organisations to publish millions of classified diplomatic cables.

In 2016, he caused a storm by releasing emails showing US Democratic Party officials favouring Hillary Clinton over left-winger Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary elections, forcing high-ranking party members to resign.

How is Assange linked to US soldier Chelsea Manning?

Manning handed over 700,000 classified US documents to WikiLeaks. She was given a 35-year prison sentence, which former US president Barack Obama commuted in January.

Manning was freed on May 17.

Why is the Australian whistleblower holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London?

Assange entered the embassy in 2012 to avoid claim asylum and avoid extradition to Sweden over rape accusations stemming from encounters with two women in the Scandinavian country in August 2010.

The 45-year-old Australian has always denied the allegations, which he feared would see him extradited to the US and put on trial over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.

Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation on May 19 because they said there was no reason to believe he would be brought to Sweden in the foreseeable future.

What happens now?

British police said they would have to arrest him if he walks out of the embassy on the grounds that he had breached his bail.

The maximum punishment for skipping bail in Britain is one year in jail. However, while the courts process his case, time served while in custody would be deducted.In theory he could therefore be sentenced to a prison term and then immediately walk free.

Assange could also be extradited to the US if he leaves the embassy. In a Twitter post, WikiLeaks said the UK has refused to comment whether it has received a US warrant to extradite Assange.

Sweden could also resume its case if Assange were to be arrested. Marianne Ny, Sweden's director of public prosecutions, said the investigation could be reopened if Assange returns to Sweden before August 2020 when the allegations a…

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