WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for violating his bail and going into hiding at the Ecuadorian embassy, seven years ago, a sentence that comes just a day before a hearing is set to take place concerning his extradition to the U.S.
He breached his bail back in 2012 amid threats of extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning about a possible assault.
In a letter read to the court, Assange said he was “struggling with difficult circumstances” and apologized to those who “consider I’ve disrespected them.”
He added: “I did what I thought at the time was the best or perhaps the only thing that I could have done.”
Judge Deborah Taylor said that Assange deserved near the maximum sentence of one year because of the seriousness of his offense.
Assange has been held in prison since his arrest last month after the Ecuadorian authorities revoked his political asylum and kicked him out of the embassy on April 11.
Assange is scheduled to appear at a Thursday court hearing on a U.S. extradition request. The U.S. authorities charged Assange with conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system.
He faces up to five years in a U.S. prison if convicted.