Julian Assange is a name that nearly the entire world knows, considering that he co-founded WikiLeaks. He has been hiding with the London embassy in Ecuador for almost seven years, allowing him to expose numerous secrets. However, on April 11th, the co-founder was removed from the embassy and brought directly to a police van. Not going down silently, a video was posted to Twitter of Assange yelling about Gore Vidal, as reported by The Next Web.
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) April 11, 2019
Assange was then brought to a police station in Central London, and he was charged with breaking the bail terms. Furthermore, he was told that there is an arrest warrant in the United States as well, regarding alleged computer-related criminal activities.
While it is uncertain how the latter will be handled at this point, it is likely that Assange will end up fighting extradition as far as he can, which is a long process. The authorities in the US are aggressive about their proceedings, unwilling to let go of the chance to jail Assange themselves. Another hacker with significantly fewer crimes, Gary McKinnon, fought the extradition case of his own for over seven years.
According to the reports from TNW, there’s little doubt that Assange will ultimately be extradited, but he has to serve his 50 weeks in the UK prison. The British authorities did not hesitate to charge Assange with breaking bail, and he was already found guilty weeks ago. Assange declared these charges “unlawful,” but that does not change the time he will have to serve. The maximum sentence for his crimes is a year, for while he only falls 2 weeks short.
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) May 1, 2019
There is a chance that Sweden could move in and hijack the requests for extradition from the United States, where he still has to answer for charges of rape and sexual assault. When Assange kept himself inside the London embassy, he said that the charges were false and only an attempt to get him to the United States, making the authorities unable to extradite him to Sweden. Unfortunately, the claims expired in 2015, resulting in the rape charges being dropped as well.
If Assange were to become available for investigation, there is a chance that the case could be reopened, which is exactly what the British imprisonment would allow. Still, the only way that this will happen is if Stockholm’s formal extradition request gets priority over the request from the United States.
British media has not portrayed a positive stance on extraditing Assange to the US, considering that they see this approval as a potential threat to journalistic freedom. The UK has blocked extradition requests before, and Assange’s crimes in the US have to do with the exposure of corruption that exists in the government and military.
If the UK government chooses to extradite Assange to the US, then the media would have its own heyday, and many political figures would oppose the decision. However, keeping Assange for jail time in the UK would keep the US from claiming the criminal for themselves.