Born in Australia in 1971, Julian Assange showed how great he was with computers early on. He was tried and pleaded guilty in Australia in the 1990s for several hacking activities. He avoided jail on the condition that he would not repeat these activities.
He kept his promise until 2006 when he created the popular website Wikileaks where he revealed secret documents from the United States and others. The US government, in particular, made it clear in 2010 that they were eager to prosecute Assange. This came after he leaked secret documents that showed the US military killed over 60,000 civilians in the Iraq war.
In that same year, 2010, he was detained in the UK because Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for him, claiming he raped and molested two women in Stockholm earlier while giving a lecture there. Once he managed to get bail, he escaped to the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK and has been in that safe haven until his arrest a few days ago.
Things went well at the embassy for Assange over the past several years. He was on good terms with then Ecuador president Rafael Correa. The Swedish rape and molestation accusations were dropped because time had run out and they were unable to reach him inside the embassy. He was also safe from the United States and its prosecution. The UK still wanted him, though on a charge of failing to surrender to the court.
Assange’s good fortune didn’t last forever, though as in 2017 a new president was elected in Ecuador, Lenin Moreno. His relationship with Assange was not on good terms as opposed to his predecessor. Ultimately, president Moreno decided to withdraw asylum from Julian Assange and turn him to the UK government.
He is now back on the radar of the US, the UK, and Sweden. The UK wants him for breaching bail, the US for hacking confidential files and information, and Sweden is considering re-investigating the rape and molestation allegations against Assange.
Perhaps the worst case scenario for Assange is to be sent to the US for prosecution. Regardless of the rulings he receives in either the UK or Sweden, they are certain to be more lenient than those he would receive in the US.
Photo Via/ Foto: Xavier Granja Cedeño/Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores/Flickr