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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released from prison after agreement

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released from prison after agreement

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been freed from prison in the United Kingdom and is expected to travel home to Australia after he agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of breaching the espionage law in the United States.

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.”

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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.

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