Cybersecurity

Assange lawyer: Manning commutation doesn’t meet extradition offer’s conditions

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The attorney for Julian Assange said President Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence does not meet the conditions of the WikiLeaks head’s offer to be extradited to the United States if Manning were pardoned. 

Obama on Tuesday commuted Manning’s sentence for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, leading many to wonder whether that meant Assange was ready to surrender to the Department of Justice.

“Mr. Assange welcomes the announcement that Ms. Manning’s sentence will be reduced and she will be released in May, but this is well short of what he sought,” said Barry Pollack, Assange’s U.S.-based attorney, via email. 

“Mr. Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately.”

Assange has not been publicly charged with a crime in the United States, but his legal team believes he may be charged “under seal,” where charges are kept secret to prevent a suspect from preparing an escape.

{mosads}Assange first offered in September to trade extradition to the U.S. for a pardon for Manning. He reiterated the claim as recently as last week on Twitter. 

“If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case,” tweeted WikiLeaks’s official account on Thursday. 

On Tuesday, the White House denied that tweet had anything to do with commuting Manning’s sentence.

 

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