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Julian Assange is ‘free,’ will plead guilty to leaking national security secrets

Freedom in exchange for recognition
Martin Clauss
Martin Clauss
Beeble Team member
June 25, 2024
Julian Assange is ‘free,’ will plead guilty to leaking national security secrets

Was released at Stansted airport

Assange will reportedly be sentenced to time he’s already served in British prison, and return to Australia after a hearing later this week, reports The Verge.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is now free, according to a post on X from the WikiLeaks account. “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.”

Court documents indicate Assange has reached a plea deal with the US on one count of violating the Espionage Act when he “knowingly and unlawfully conspired with Chelsea Manning” to publish classified American military documents in 2010. Assange was indicted on 18 charges in 2019. That’s when he was arrested by British police after being expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had claimed asylum for more than six years.

Exposed US wrongdoings in the Afghanistan and Iraq

In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison before having her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama in 2017. She was jailed in 2019 after refusing to testify in a grand jury hearing about WikiLeaks and Assange and released again in 2020.

The more than 700,000 documents leaked to WikiLeaks by Manning exposed US wrongdoings in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. These include the so-called “Collateral Murder” video, which showed US helicopter pilots in Baghdad killing a group of civilians, including two Reuters journalists.

As NBC News and CNN report he is expected to be sentenced to 62 months, with credit for time served in British prison, allowing Assange to go free and return to his birthplace of Australia.

A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday morning at 9AM ET, which will be about 7PM ET on Tuesday night in the US District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. There, DOJ prosecutors “…anticipate that the defendant will plead guilty to the charge in the Information of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified information relating to the national defense of the United States.”