Julian Assange of WikiLeaks Freed after Reaching Deal with US
Moneylife Digital Team 25 June 2024
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has left the UK reportedly after reaching a deal with US authorities that will see him plead guilty to criminal charges.
Mr Assange, who was charged with conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information, would spend no time in US custody as per the conditions finalised in a tentative deal with the US justice department.
"Julian Assange is free. He left Belmarsh maximum security prison (London) on the morning of 24 June 2024 after having spent 1,901 days there. He was granted bail by the High Court in London and was released at the Stansted airport during the afternoon, where he boarded a plane and departed the UK," WikiLeaks said in a post on X (erstwhile Twitter).
"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," it says.
Reacting to the development, his wife Stella Assange, says, "Throughout the years of Julian's imprisonment and persecution, an incredible movement has been formed. People from all walks of life from around the world who support not just Julian... but what Julian stands for: truth and justice."
Quoting filings in the US district court for the Northern Mariana Islands, a report from The Guardian says, Mr Assange has agreed to plead guilty to a single criminal count of conspiring to obtain and disclose classified US national defence documents.
"Mr Assange is due to be sentenced at a hearing on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands at 9am local time on Wednesday (11pm GMT on Tuesday). Under the deal, which must be approved by a judge, he is likely to be credited for the five years he has already served and face no new jail time," the report says.
In 2010, WikiLeaks founded by Mr Assange published hundreds of thousands classified US military and diplomatic documents related with the wars in Afghanisatan and Iraq, the largest security breachs in the US military history. WikiLeaks also published several diplomatic cables. 
During the Donald Trump regime, Mr Assnage was indicted over WikiLeaks' mass release of secret US documents. These documents were leaked by Chelsea Manning, a former military intelligence analyst in the US, who was also prosecuted under the Espionage Act.
Australia-born Mr Assange was living inside the Ecuadorian embassy building in southwest London since being granted diplomatic asylum by the Latin American nation in August 2012.
In April 2019, after Ecuador terminated its political asylum, the WikiLeaks' founder was arrested by the British police inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, seven years after he took refuge there to avoid extradition to Sweden in a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.
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