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WikiLeaks Founder Assange Facing 175 Years in US Prison - DoJ

© AP Photo / Matt DunhamWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being taken from court, where he appeared on charges of jumping British bail seven years ago, in London, Wednesday May 1, 2019
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being taken from court, where he appeared on charges of jumping British bail seven years ago, in London, Wednesday May 1, 2019 - Sputnik International
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange faces up to 175 years in prison for allegedly engaging in espionage activities, the US Department of Justice said in a press release.

“A federal grand jury returned an 18-count superseding indictment today charging Julian P. Assange, 47, the founder of WikiLeaks, with offenses that relate to Assange’s alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States", the release said on Thursday.

READ MORE: US Charges Against Assange Mark End of Press Freedom — WikiLeaks

The release said that Assange if convicted, faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison on each count except for the count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, for which he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Demonstrators protest outside of Westminster Magistrates Court, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had a U.S. extradition request hearing, in London, Britain May 2, 2019 - Sputnik International
Journalist on New Assange Charges: It’s Not Our Job to Protect State Secrets
The UK authorities arrested Assange in London on 11 April, after seven years of refuge inside the Ecuadorian embassy amidst rape allegations following his visit to Sweden in 2010. Assange has vehemently denied all those allegations against him.

On 1 May, a London court sentenced Assange to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail by seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.

The United States had been seeking Assange's extradition on charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and engaging in the compromise of classified information.

However, WikiLeaks said in April that it suspected the United States might be building an espionage case against Assange.

READ MORE: ‘Dangerous Precedent’: Turnover of Assange’s Personal Effects Shows US’ Power

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