WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was supposedly ready to accept extradition to the United States if President Barack Obama commuted Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence for her role in leaking classified information.
Now that Obama actually went through with commuting Manning’s sentence, however, Assange still isn’t going to turn himself in.
The Hill reports that Barry Pollack, Assange’s U.S.-based attorney, is now claiming that “Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence does not meet the conditions of the WikiLeaks head’s offer to be extradited to the United States.”
One major sticking point, Pollack says, is that Manning will not be released until this coming May, whereas Assange wanted her to be released immediately.
“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,” he explained. “Mr. Assange had called for Chelsea Manning to receive clemency and be released immediately.”
However, the original offer posted by WikiLeaks on Twitter only required Obama to grant Manning clemency, and didn’t specify any timetables for her release.
If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case https://t.co/MZU30SlfGK
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 12, 2017
At the same time, Assange still has not been publicly charged with any crime in the United States, although The Hill notes that the government may have charges “under seal” ready that do not have to be immediately disclosed publicly.
Nonetheless, WikiLeaks claims that Assange is “still happy to come to the U.S. provided all his rights are guaranteed.”
Assange is still happy to come to the US provided all his rights are guarenteed despite White House now saying Manning was not quid-quo-pro.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 18, 2017