Tags: julian assange | wikileaks | chelsea manning | release

Assange Won't Turn Himself In, Citing Chelsea Manning's May Release Date

Image: Assange Won't Turn Himself In, Citing Chelsea Manning's May Release Date

Julian Assange (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 07:21 PM

Julian Assange is backing away from his promise.

The WikiLeaks founder said Wednesday he would not turn himself in to U.S. authorities despite a promise to do so if President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, The Hill reports.

For now, he will stay holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has claimed asylum since 2012.

Assange's lawyer told The Hill that the extradition offer was only on the table if Manning were to be released immediately. Manning, who stole 750,000 pages of documents and videos and released them to WikiLeaks in 2010, is set to be discharged on May 17. She was serving a 35-year prison sentence.

Assange is being sought for espionage charges.

"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," Barry Pollack, Assange's US-based attorney, told The Hill. "Mr. Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately."

A senior administration official told CNN Tuesday that Obama's decision "was not influenced in any way by public comments by Mr. Assange or the WikiLeaks organization."

"The president's decision to offer commutation was not influenced by public comments by Mr. Assange or the WikiLeaks organization," a White House official told The Guardian.

"I have no insight into Mr. Assange's travel plans. I can't speak to any charges or potential charges he may be facing from the justice department."

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Julian Assange is backing away from his promise.
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2017-21-18
Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 07:21 PM
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