Why did Ecuador give up Assange after seven years?

Julian Assange arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London yesterday                     Image Victoria Jones  PA Images

Assange instead faces up to five years in jail on a federal charge of "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified USA government computer", the Justice Department said. One was involved in organizing an event for Sweden's center-left Social Democratic Party and offered to host Assange at her apartment.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, the lawyer for the woman who reported being raped by Assange, told The Associated Press that she would "do everything" to have the Swedish case reopened so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted.

"The act of coaching" someone how to steal information, as alleged in the indictment, "is a step too far", said Ryan Fayhee, a former Justice Department prosecutor who specialised in counterintelligence cases. But Judge Napolitano said that the extradition process to the USA may take years, as the United Kingdom faces legal issues of its own.

He has a top-notch legal team, many devoted supporters and the legal issues in the United States case may prove complex.

When asked about the rape allegations, Abbott said it was right that he should face justice if charges are brought. The office has considerable experience in national security prosecutions involving accused terrorists and spies and other high-profile matters, like the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Assange is in British jail and faces extradition to the United States on charges he conspired to reveal government secrets and hack into Pentagon computers.

For years, Assange's publications have been a thorn in the side of governments around the world, embarrassing them by his online posting of sensitive material obtained by computer hackers.

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The Espionage Act can carry the death penalty for people who deliver national defence information to foreign nations, but that charge was not brought against Assange in the current indictment.

The Ecuadorian government blamed WikiLeaks for the leaked documents, dubbed the INA Papers, an allegation that WikiLeaks denies.

The American charges that Assange faces relate to WikiLeaks' publication of documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, using files leaked by Chelsea Manning.

On Thursday, Zakharova said Russian Federation plans to raise Assange's arrest with "international organizations".

Looking nothing like the sleek, stylish, leather-jacket wearing provocateur we've become used to, (as he appeared in 2017 in his famous balcony speech), Assange's scraggly beard and pasty and bedraggled appearance served as a dead giveaway to the effect of years of living in isolation has had on him.

Clinton said yesterday that Assange needs to "answer for what he has done". In line with standard operating procedure in Swedish courtrooms, he was not formally charged.