WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared at London’s Old Bailey on Monday for a hearing to determine whether he should be extradited to the United States to face espionage charges. Assange told the British court he didn’t consent to being sent to the United States to be tried on 18 charges, which bring up to 175 years in prison.
The 49-year-old Assange had been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 when he sought asylum to dodge sexual assault charges in Sweden, before being arrested in April 2019. He was arrested after Ecuador withdrew its offer of asylum. The WikiLeaks founder was indicted on 17 new charges of violating the Espionage Act in May of last year and already faced a charge from March 2018 of conspiring to commit unlawful computer intrusion, which carried a maximum five years in prison. Assange was accused of working with former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to obtain and publicly release classified information. The new charges brought his total charges to 18 counts with each violation of the Espionage Act carrying a maximum 10-year sentence.
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