Assange sentence ‘very tough’: Aust lawyer

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The almost year-long sentence imposed on Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange for skipping bail has been labelled as “very tough” by his Australian-based barrister. But while the 50-week sentence is at the top of the range it was important for people not to lose sight of the impending extradition request, barrister Greg Barns told AAP on Wednesday. “This is a very dangerous request because it involves the US seeking to extradite a person who was upholding the values of freedom of speech and freedom of the media,” he said. “It must be resisted, it will be resisted,” he said of the extradition. The 47-year-old’s family were concerned about how high the sentence was, according to Mr Barns. “But in a sense it’s important the bail matter is now behind Julian so the focus can be on the very dangerous nature of the extradition request,” he said. Assange is due to face the same court on Thursday over the US bid to extradite him on charges of conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system – a process some experts say may take as long as two years. Assange made international headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified US military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff. Australian Associated Press

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