U.S. President Donald Trump has no plans to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to the Fox News TV channel.
According to the channel, Trump intends to pardon from 50 to 100 people before the expiration of his presidential term. It is noted that a meeting was held at the White House on Sunday to agree on a final list of those whom Trump intends to pardon and whose punishment he intends to commute.
“Despite WikiLeaks’ vigorous campaign to obtain a pardon for its founder Julian Assange, he is not expected to be pardoned by the president,” the network said in a report.
At the same time, as the channel notes, the list of people the president intends to pardon included rapper Lil Wayne, and the issue of pardoning former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon “will be decided later.”
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Bloomberg previously reported that Trump had prepared an extensive list of people he hoped to pardon before he leaves office, which he likely included himself, as well as his relatives, friends, and two famous rappers. The New York Times also reported that Trump was discussing the possibility of pardoning himself before his term expired on Jan. 20.
Presidential pardons in the U.S. are not subject to appeal. Many presidents have used this power to remove prosecutions of those convicted, including their political supporters.
Assange, accused in Sweden in 2010 of sexual harassment and rape, had been in hiding since June 2012 in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, fearing extradition. On the morning of April 11, 2019, he was detained at the U.S. request. Since then, Assange has been held in the maximum-security Belmarsh prison. Extradition hearings began on May 2, 2019. Shortly thereafter, U.S. authorities announced that they had filed new charges against Assange for 17 episodes of violating the Espionage and Disclosure of Classified Information Act. If extradited to the U.S., Assange faces up to 175 years in prison.
On January 4, Judge Vanessa Barrightser of the Central Criminal Court in London refused to extradite Assange to the U.S. authorities, and U.S. lawyers said they would challenge the decision. On January 6, the Magistrates Court in the London borough of Westminster refused to release Assange on bail and he will remain in jail pending a U.S. appeal of his extradition case. Bail was denied on the grounds that he had previously violated the conditions of release. All previous requests by lawyers were denied by the court on the same grounds.