Julian Assange Freed After US Plea Deal

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Julian Assange

Julian Assange has been freed from Belmarsh maximum security prison in the UK as part of a plea deal with the US Justice Department.

The WikiLeaks co-founder has spent five years behind bars in London while fighting extradition to the US, where he is accused of illegally obtaining and disclosing national security materials which shed light on alleged American war crimes.

He is expected to travel home to Australia after he agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of breaching the espionage law in the US.

Al Jazeera reports: Assange, 52, will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to obtain and disclose classified US national defence documents, according to a filing in the US District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands.

He was freed from the UK’s high-security Belmarsh prison on Monday and taken to the airport, from where he flew out of the country. Assange will appear at a court in Saipan, a US Pacific territory, at 9am on Wednesday (23:00 GMT on Tuesday), where he will be sentenced to 62 months of the time already served.

“Julian Assange is free,” WikiLeaks said in a statement on X.

“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 Stansted airport during the afternoon, where he boarded a plane and departed the UK.”

A video posted on X by WikiLeaks showed Assange dressed in a blue shirt and jeans signing a document before boarding a private jet.

He will return to Australia after the hearing, the WikiLeaks statement added, referring to the hearing in Saipan.

The plane carrying Assange landed in Bangkok on Tuesday to refuel before flying the WikiLeaks founder to the US territory.

His wife Stella Assange said she was “elated” and it was “incredible” that her husband was set to be freed.

“He will be a free man once it has been signed off by the judge and that will happen sometime tomorrow,” she said, speaking from Australia.

Niamh Harris
About Niamh Harris 15191 Articles
I am an alternative health practitioner interested in helping others reach their maximum potential.