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Julian Assange Sentenced to 50 Weeks in Jail for Bail Violation in Vindictive Political Ruling
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks imprisonment in a show trial Wednesday at Southwark Crown Court.

Assange has been incarcerated in London’s Belmarsh prison, in conditions amounting to solitary confinement and without access to visitors, following his illegal seizure April 3 from the Ecuadorian embassy.

The sentence on bail charges is just two weeks short of the maximum one-year sentence he could have received, despite already being held in arbitrary detention by the British authorities since he was first detained in London in December 2010.

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in June 2012 after having his fundamental democratic rights trampled on by the British legal system, fearing that he would be extradited to Sweden on trumped up allegations of sexual misconduct and from there be sent to the US.

Assange illegally arrested by the British police on April 11
Assange illegally arrested by the British police on April 11

Assange was found guilty last month of being in breach of the Bail Act. His treatment and sentencing by Judge Deborah Taylor yesterday was even more vindictive than that meted out by Judge Michael Snow two weeks ago, who had described Assange during a politically biased hearing as a “narcissist”.

With Assange fearing for his life, after a series of senior US politicians said they favoured him being put to death, Snow said callously that Assange should “get over to the US” and “get on with your life.”

Taylor was more venomous still. Assange had put himself “deliberately out of reach” in the embassy and, since 2012, had been “exploiting your privileged position to flout the law and advertise internationally your disdain for the law of this country.”

Numerous legal experts have refuted such assertions, pointing out that the bail charge was effectively resolved years ago as Assange had forfeited bail money in 2012. Moreover, he spent far more time involuntarily detained in the Ecuadorian embassy than the maximum sentence for bail violations.

Assange’s legal team listed numerous mitigating factors. Mark Summers QC provided evidence that in 2012 Assange had been “gripped” by fears of rendition to the US due to WikiLeaks’ exposure of war crimes carried out by US government. “As threats rained down on him from America, they overshadowed everything as far as he was concerned. They dominated his thoughts. They were not invented by him, they were gripping him throughout.”

Summers referred to contemporaneous reports that “inside the US [Obama] administration that he could be kidnapped wherever he was, with or without the approval of the country in which he was residing and be brought to the US.”

Were Assange extradited to Sweden, he would be at the mercy of a legal system with a “well documented and unfortunate history” of sending “people to states where they were at significant risk of ill treatment including torture and death.”

Assange’s health had seriously declined as a result of being confined in a small room in the Embassy, and he had been unable to access treatment for a number of medical issues. “He’s been a resilient man, but this has taken its toll,” Summers said.

Assange’s defence told the court that the background to the bail case—including the granting of political asylum to Assange in 2012—was “unusual and different” than those usually confronted by the court and should only be dealt with as a minor “Category C” issue.

The prosecution demanded it be treated as an A1 case, meaning Assange must be sent to prison. Taylor rejected all the defence’s arguments.

On May 4, the International Committee of the Fourth International is holding its annual International May Day Online Rally, with speakers and participants from throughout the world. Register today!
On May 4, the International Committee of the Fourth International is holding its annual International May Day Online Rally, with speakers and participants from throughout the world. Register today!

Assange submitted a letter apologising “unreservedly to those who consider that I have disrespected them by the way I pursued my case.” But, the letter continued, “I found myself struggling with terrifying circumstances for which neither I nor those from whom I sought advice could work out any remedy.”

Taylor ignored this plea and proceeded to read out a prepared sentence.

Assange’s bail breach, she claimed, was even more serious than the A1 category, which covers “a failure to surrender” and “represents a deliberate attempt to evade or delay justice.”

Assange’s claims that he took refuge in the Embassy in order to avoid “kidnap and torture” in the US were “unrealistic,” she said, despite full knowledge that Assange faces the start of a US extradition hearing tomorrow.

It took her approximately two minutes to reject all claims of mitigation—almost as if she hadn’t listened to a word of what the defence said! Basic precepts of due process and international law were trampled underfoot, as Taylor dismissed the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruling in 2015 that Assange was arbitrarily detained by Britain and that he should be freed and compensated for his unlawful captivity.

“As far as the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention opinion is concerned, this is not binding on this court,” she declared, asserting the UN’s ruling was “underpinned by misconceptions of fact and law.”

No lie was too brazen. Prior to sentencing, Taylor falsely claimed Assange had faced extradition to Sweden over “charges” of sexual abuse and one of rape. Assange interrupted her, pointing out, “I wasn’t charged” and Taylor was forced to backtrack.

This didn’t prevent her continuing to rail against Assange for “continued residence in the Embassy” that “necessitated a concentration of resources, and expenditure of £16 million of taxpayers’ money…”

Around half an hour after proceedings began, Taylor sentenced Assange to 50 weeks in prison—to the obvious approval of most of the 45 members of the assembled press. In contrast, members of the public who had gained entry were outraged. As Assange was led away, he turned to acknowledge his supporters in the gallery. There was a spontaneous eruption of “Free Julian Assange!” followed by “Shame on You!” as the judge exited the courtroom.

Outside the court, WikiLeaks editor in chief Kristinn Hrafnsson condemned the sentence as an “outrage” that was “vindictive in nature… It doesn’t give us a lot of faith in the UK justice system for the fight ahead.”

WikiLeaks Editor in Chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, speaking outside the court
WikiLeaks Editor in Chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, speaking outside the court

Asked by a WSWS reporter on the court’s dismissal of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruling that Assange is a political refugee arbitrarily detained by the UK, Hrafnsson replied, “It’s outrageous… Have we seen the end of all decency in this world?”

WikiLeaks tweeted, “Julian Assange’s sentence is as shocking as it is vindictive. We have grave concerns as to whether he will receive a fair extradition hearing in the UK.”

A second tweet explained that “Julian Assange’s sentence, for seeking and receiving asylum, is twice as much as the sentencing guidelines.” It contrasted Assange’s treatment with Jack Shepherd, who fled to Romania in 2018 to avoid manslaughter charges and yet was “only sentenced to six months for failing to appear in court.”

Taylor’s sentence is part of ongoing efforts to ensure that Assange is extradited to the US, where he faces the savage wrath of the US ruling elite whose war crimes WikiLeaks courageously exposed. The sentence means that he will likely be imprisoned throughout legal proceedings on the US warrant. Hrafnsson said that challenging the US extradition “will be a question of life and death for Mr Assange.”

(Republished from World Socialist Web Site by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Britain, Julian Assange, Wikileaks 
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  1. Assange has reproduced. Why not leverage it when facing US judicial authorities. At least in part, Assange might try the successful method of millions of migrants. They never show up for their asylum hearings. US legal authorities release womb-productive migrants into the country after 20 days of detention, letting it go when they evade their asylum hearings. US authorities fail to police illegal immigration for the same reason that this asylum-gaming behavior is overlooked, while subjecting some individuals to stiff consequences for defying hearings. They police selectively due to the law-overriding privilege of womb-productive sex in the contemporary USA.

    They fail to police rouge immigration even though illegal immigrants alone collect $113 billion per year in non-narcissistic taxpayer dollars, consuming tons of taxpayer money in monthly welfare and other amenities for their US-born kids on top of $6,431 in refundable child tax credit cash per household. It is given to some of the income-reporting illegals each year. Some illegal alien parents spend their yearly tax-cash windfalls on treating themselves to narcissistic luxuries that must not be criticized as self-centered indulgences due to the womb-productive sex.

    Migrants and Migrant Industry Advocates use emotional language, bringing the issue of the womb-productive migrants’ personal lives into the legal process. As long as the self-interest is wrapped in family & baby imagery, regardless of any over-the-top fears, migrants are given the shelter they seek, heedless of law breaking and with lots of welfare and progressive tax code privileges to boot. Assange’s cat will not have the same emotional leverage with US legal authorities, nor will his plight as an individual or a “person” with rights per US Constitution. It is the family & clan, the bloodline-based emotionalism, that holds sway in modern America. Perhaps, it does in Britain as well, likely for the same reasons.

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  2. anon[746] • Disclaimer says:

    for a second there i thought Unz was taking ads for the communist May Day celebration

    • Replies: @Herald
  3. Yikes!

    Surely, she’s heard of rendition.

    ——

    A female keeper of justice behaving unjustly, say it ain’t so.

    • Replies: @Nonny
  4. ‘Julian Assange Sentenced to 50 Weeks in Jail for Bail Violation in Vindictive Political Ruling.’

    It’s illuminating to compare that to that mulatto homosexual’s absence of any sentence at all.

    Think of it in terms of who was threatened rather than the heinousness of the offense, and the logic of it all will become much more apparent.

    • Agree: Realist
  5. Nehlen says:

    Taylor ignored this plea and proceeded to read out a prepared sentence.

    Ironically, or not, WikiLeaks was not permabanned from Twitter, though his account was “unverified” and which led to many doppelgänger accounts exacerbating his already impossible situation.

    Taylor’s premeditated ruling further demonstrates the abject miscarriage of justice skewering ALL dissident thought and speech. Moreover, the machinations of the Empire, on full display, ought to convince even the staunchest MAGApede that Trump is hardly the benevolent guardian of the downtrodden “forgotten man,” rather, the enabler of the rootless cosmopolitan Swampian Empire we so hoped he’d drain.

    • Replies: @Biff
    , @Realist
    , @restless94110
  6. Mike-SMO says:

    My God!

    Assange received a sentence almost as severe as those given to the rapists that P.M. May imported into the UK!

    I guess it is a matter of whose ox is gored. Or whose daughter…..

  7. Biff says:
    @Nehlen

    Moreover, the machinations of the Empire, on full display, ought to convince even the staunchest MAGApede that Trump is hardly the benevolent guardian of the downtrodden “forgotten man,” rather, the enabler of the rootless cosmopolitan Swampian Empire we so hoped he’d drain.

    Ironically, the liberals thought that Obama was going to drain the swamp of all Bush’s wrong doings only to turn out to be an enabler as well – so they just closed their eyes(and their brains), and believed.

    The one follows the other.

    • Replies: @Realist
  8. Nonny says:
    @EliteCommInc.

    A female keeper of what???

  9. Paul says:

    Free Julian Assange and all political prisoners.

  10. Herald says:
    @anon

    And your problem with that is?

    • Replies: @anon
  11. Kudos to all of Assange’s supporters and particularly the protesters for making their presence felt.

    BS charges, BS laws, BS court. Never expect a single iota of fairness from our overlords and yes the “Deep State”, “The Swamp”, “TPTB” , “Illuminatis” etc whatever you wanna call it really exists.

  12. Judge Taylor…by the photos…a fat ugly bulldyke…pissed…because her pinup bulldyke girl Hillary didn’t become POTUS……..

    England….a Nation where….Homosexual PEDERAST ROCK STAR PETE TOWNSHEND roams free…..

    ENGLAND DIE DIE…FUCKING DIE!!!

    NAPALM FUCKING ENGLAND!!!!!

  13. @Endgame Napoleon

    “Migrants and Migrant Industry Advocates use emotional language…”

    Such as the term “migrant.” Do not use the leftist terminology, as it is a self defeating concession. The correct term is “alien invader.”

  14. Realist says:
    @Nehlen

    Moreover, the machinations of the Empire, on full display, ought to convince even the staunchest MAGApede that Trump is hardly the benevolent guardian of the downtrodden “forgotten man,” rather, the enabler of the rootless cosmopolitan Swampian Empire we so hoped he’d drain.

    Yes, the Deep State rules.

  15. Realist says:
    @Biff

    Ironically, the liberals thought that Obama was going to drain the swamp of all Bush’s wrong doings only to turn out to be an enabler as well – so they just closed their eyes(and their brains), and believed.

    Yes, the Deep State rules….both parties.

  16. WTFU – ASSange is just another Zionist shill: Reportedly, Julian Assange has a deal with Israel to withhold documents that would embarrass Israel.

    Indymedia UK asked – “Why did the hundreds of thousands of American classified documents leaked … not contain anything that may embarrass the Israeli government?

    “The answer appears to be a secret deal struck between Wikileaks … [and] Israeli officials, which ensured that all such documents were ‘removed’ before the rest were made public.”

    https://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2019/04/assange-false-flag.html

  17. anon[236] • Disclaimer says:
    @Herald

    i did have a problem with that for a little while but then i thought its great if Unz can make money even if it means ads

    as for the commies, i have no use for them so if you’re one…..KMA

  18. “Taylor sentenced Assange to 50 weeks in prison—to the obvious approval of most of the 45 members of the assembled press.”

    To the obvious approval of most of the presstitutes.

    Clown world indeed.

  19. TKK says:

    It’s the fight of his life- if he can stay out of the US- he will be ok.

    If he is extradited here, it’s over. His celebrity will fade in a year, and Sh’Quan and his gangs will be tearing up that a** and then beating him down for money for commissary.

    The guards will blackmail him. They are usually worse than the inmates. His best bet would be solitary- but that’s a slow madness.

    I don’t envy him. I hope he was able to have a few stolen moments of pleasure with Pamela Anderson.

  20. @Nehlen

    To the nincompoop who wrote this comment:

    I must have missed The Coronation that made Trump the King of England.

    This event–in England, which is a country that is not in the United States–has nothing to do with Trump.

    Moreover, Trump is also not King of The United States.

    Remember that before you go off with your half-cocked conspiracy theories nonsense.

  21. Pontius says:

    He really should have kept some truly damning information in reserve, just letting enough info out the give the bastards a heads up that if he was nabbed the Samson option would be invoked. Unless he doesn’t have any of course.

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