Sunday 22 April 2018

'WikiLeaks will not rest until Manning is free': Julian Assange slams soldier's conviction

Alan Jones

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tonight attacked the conviction of US soldier Bradley Manning on espionage charges, calling him a "hero".

Speaking inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Mr Assange said the conviction by a military court set a "dangerous precedent".

The Australian, who has been inside the embassy for over a year to avoid extradition to Sweden, said he took no solace from Manning's acquittal on the most dangerous charge of aiding the enemy.

The US solider, who admitted leaking confidential documents to WikiLeaks, was convicted of 19 charges.

Mr Assange said he expected Manning to appeal against the decision.

Mr Assange said the only victim in the case had been the US government's "wounded pride", adding that Manning's disclosures had helped spark the Arab Spring.

"This was never a fair trial," he told a small group of news agencies, including the Press Association.

He criticised the treatment of the US soldier since his arrest in 2010, saying he had been stripped, kept isolated and in a cage to "break" him.

The sentencing process will begin tomorrow but Mr Assange said there were two appeals within the US justice system as well as the Supreme Court.

"WikiLeaks will not rest until he is free."

Press Association

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