The Australian faces rape allegations in Sweden, which he denies
Days after tweeting he would face justice across the pond if whistleblower Manning was shown leniency, Mr Assange has seemingly reneged on his word.
The 45-year-old suggested earlier this month he would face justice in the US, with the WikiLeaks twitter posting: “If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ [Department of Justice] case.”
The account later said: “Assange is confident of winning any fair trial in the US. Obama's DoJ prevented public interest defense & fair jury.”
Holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, where he was granted asylum, he has been in self-imposed exile ever since.
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The Australian faces rape allegations in Sweden, which he denies, but claims if he travels to the Scandinavian country he will be extradited to the US.
Despite not being charged with a crime in the US, he is the subject of an espionage investigation relating to the largest leak of classified US material on WikiLeaks, which he founded in 2006.
But in one of his last acts as president, Barack Obama commuted the former soldier’s sentence, meaning she will be released in May after initially being jailed for 35 years.
Manning – born Bradley but changed gender while behind bars – was locked up in 2013 for leaking the 700,000 documents of sensitive information regarding the Iraq war.
Mr Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012
Following the commutation, WikiLeaks official twitter account posted: “Assange is still happy to come to the US provided all his rights are guaranteed despite White House now saying Manning was not quid-quo-pro [sic]”.
But Mr Assange’s US lawyer, Barry Pollack, later released a statement saying the clemency granted by the outgoing President did not meet the terms of his clients offer to travel to the US.
Mr Pollack said: “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
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Facts about WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange
Mon, August 22, 2016
WikiLeaks Founder, Julian Assange has led a very interesting and controversial life which has been at the centre of global debate
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It is believed that Julian Assange chooses to live in Sweden because the country's media laws are among the world's most protective for journalists
This is well short of what he sought
“Mr Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately.”
His legal team fear he may be charged ‘under seal’ in the US, meaning the charges have been kept secret from him.
Manning – born Bradley but changed gender while behind bars – was locked up in 2013
Mr Pollack continued: “For many months, I have asked the Department of Justice to clarify Mr Assange’s status. I hope it will soon.
“The Department of Justice should not pursue any charges against Mr Assange based on his publication of truthful information and should close its criminal investigation of him immediately.”
Last September, Mr Assange offered to trade extradition to the US in exchange for a pardon for Manning, something he repeated last week before the commutation.
And after tirelessly campaigning for Manning’s release, the WikiLeaks account quoted Mr Assange, posting: "Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Chelsea Manning's clemency.
His legal team fear he may be charged ‘under seal’ in the US
"Your courage & determination made the impossible possible."
And the account also posted a statement on Mr Obama’s decision, quoting Manning’s appellate lawyers, Nancy Hollander and Vince Ward, who released this statement: “Ms Manning is the longest serving whistleblower in the history of the United States.
“Her 35-year sentence for disclosing information that saved the public interest and never caused harm to the United States was always excessive, and we’re delighted that justice is being served in the form of this commutation.”
With president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, the status of Mr Assange – and another whistleblower Edward Snowden – remains to be seen.