THE LATEST: WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in prison

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The Latest on the sentencing of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (all times local):

11:40 a.m.
  
A British judge has sentenced WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail in 2012.
  
Judge Deborah Taylor said Wednesday that Assange merited near the maximum sentence of one year because of the seriousness of his offense.
  
She rejected his claim for leniency based on the nearly seven years he spent in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
  
The white-haired Assange stood impassively with his hands clasped while the sentence was read. His supporters in the public gallery chanted “Shame on you” at the judge as Assange was led away.
  
Assange sought asylum in the South American country’s London embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations.
  
Earlier, his lawyers argued that he had jumped bail because he was a “desperate man” fearing extradition to the United States.
  
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11:35 a.m.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has apologized unreservedly for skipping bail seven years ago and holing up in the Ecuadorian embassy.

In a letter read by attorney Mark Summers, Assange says he found himself “struggling with terrifying circumstances” and did what he thought best.  Assange sought asylum in the South American country’s London embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations. 

The secret spiller faces up to a year in prison when he is sentenced at London’s Southwark Crown Court. Summers told a courtroom packed with journalists and WikiLeaks supporters on Wednesday that Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy because “he was living with overwhelming fear of being rendered to the U.S.” 
  
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9 a.m.
  
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is set to be sentenced for jumping British bail seven years ago and holing up in the Ecuadorian embassy.
  
Assange faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison when he is sentenced Wednesday at London’s Southwark Crown Court. A judge at an earlier hearing said the 47-year-old hacker’s offense “merits the maximum sentence.”
  
The Australian secret-spiller sought asylum in the South American country’s London embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations. He faces a separate legal fight against a U.S. extradition request. American authorities have charged him with conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system.
  
Assange was arrested last month after Ecuador revoked his political asylum.

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