Friday, 20 January 2017

Assange backtracks on promise to fly to US post-Manning clemency

If US investigators were hoping WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange would be deliver himself into their hands, then they are due for a disappointment.

Last Thursday, WikiLeaks tweeted that the longest-staying guest in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London would allow American prosecutors to extradite him if President Obama issued clemency for Chelsea Manning, who was serving a 35‑year sentence for leaking US state department cables and battlefield reports and video from Iraq and Afghanistan.

It must have looked like a safe bet, but Obama surprised many on Tuesday when he commuted Manning's sentence to time served, meaning that the former soldier will be free this May. So is Assange booking his flight to Washington? Not according to his lawyer.

"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,"