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Julian Assange Secures Freedom After Reaching Plea Deal with U.S., Leaving U.K. Prison

HeadlineJun 25, 2024

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be just hours away from freedom, after he accepted a plea deal with the U.S. government and was released from a U.K. prison. Assange took off from London’s Stansted Airport Monday, ending a 12-year ordeal that saw him take shelter at the Ecuadorian Embassy for seven years, followed by five years in Belmarsh Prison, to avoid extradition to the U.S., where he faced up to 175 years in prison for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Julian Assange’s jet has stopped in Bangkok to refuel before it continues on to Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth in the Pacific Ocean, where he is expected to plead guilty to an Espionage Act charge of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified national defense information. He will then fly to his home country of Australia to be reunited with his family. Julian’s wife Stella Assange spoke to Reuters earlier today.

Stella Assange: “Of course, I mean, I think that the correct course of action from the U.S. government should have been to drop the case entirely. We will be seeking a pardon, obviously. But the fact that there is a guilty plea under the Espionage Act in relation to obtaining and disclosing national defense information is obviously a very serious concern for journalists and national security journalists in general.”

We’ll have more on this story after headlines.

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