Julian Assange Strikes Deal With U.S., Gets Freed From UK Prison

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has been released from the UK prison after pleading guilty to violating U.S. espionage law.

This plea deal will allow him to return home to Australia.

The deal ended Assange’s14-year legal battle with the U.S. government and his five-year jail term in a maximum security prison at Belmarsh in the UK while fighting to avoid extradition to the U.S. to face charges.

The 52-year-old Australian pleaded guilty to one criminal count to one count of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disclose classified reports of the U.S. defense documents, reveals the filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. He was freed from the Belmarsh prison at 5 pm on Monday and taken to the Stansted Airport where he flew out of the country.

Assange will appear in a court in Saipan, a U.S. Pacific territory, at 9 am on Wednesday (23:00 GMT on Tuesday), where he is likely to be sentenced to 62 months of time already served. Following his plea and sentencing, he is expected to return to his home country of Australia once accepted by a judge.

“Julian is free!!!!” his wife, Stella Assange, shared the news on the social media platform X, adding, “Words cannot express our immense gratitude” to everyone who supported the global push for his release.

In a post on X, WikiLeaks said, “Julian Assange is free. He left Belmarsh maximum security prison on the morning of 24 June, after having spent 1901 days there. He was granted bail by the High Court in London and was released at Stanstead airport during the afternoon, where he boarded a plane and departed the UK .”

WikiLeaks even expressed deep gratitude to its supporters around the world, saying, “This is the result of a global campaign that spanned grassroots organisers, press freedom campaigners, legislators and leaders from across the political spectrum, all the way to the United Nations.”

It added, “This created the space for a long period of negotiations with the US Department of Justice, leading to a deal that has not yet been formally finalised. We will provide more information as soon as possible.”

In April 2010, WikiLeaks released hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military documents related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which also included a substantial amount of diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts, as well as a 2007 video of two U.S. Apache helicopters carrying out a series of air-to-ground attacks in Iraq, killing a dozen people.

The release was considered by the U.S. government as the largest compromise of classified information in the history of the U.S. military.

The indictment against Assange was done during former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration over WikiLeaks’ extensive disclosure of confidential documents. These documents were originally leaked by Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. military intelligence analyst who was also prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

“As he returns to Australia, we thank all who stood by us, fought for us, and remained utterly committed in the fight for his freedom. Julian’s freedom is our freedom,” WikiLeaks’ post concluded.

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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyerhttps://www.techworm.net
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


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