Julian Assange Is Now Free After Reaching a Deal With the U.S.

  • Assange has been fighting extradition to the U.S. for years.

  • He’s expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

  • Following the court proceedings, the WikiLeaks founder is expected to be a free man.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been fighting extradition to the U.S. for years, reportedly intends to plead guilty as part of a deal with the Department of Justice, according to CNBC. This agreement, which still needs approval from a federal judge, would allow him to avoid further jail time and return to Australia, his home country.

The WikiLeaks founder is expected to appear in court on Wednesday in Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, an unincorporated U.S. territory located between Hawaii and the Philippines. There, he’ll allegedly plead guilty to a single charge: conspiring to obtain and disseminate classified information illegally.

A New Stage in Assange’s Life

Authorities should release Assange after the proceedings are completed, as long as there are no last-minute changes. This fulfills one of the terms of the agreement, which includes a 62-month prison sentence, equivalent to the time he’s already spent in the high-security Belmarsh prison, situated southeast of London in the UK.

WikiLeaks flag

The activist, who established WikiLeaks in 2006, sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 after facing an extradition request by Sweden over allegations of rape, which were later dropped. However, in 2019, he was indicted on 18 charges related to the publication of classified documents.

Subsequently, Ecuador revoked Assange’s political asylum, leading to his arrest by the London Metropolitan Police. Since then, he’s been primarily confined in the London prison. At one point, he was even facing a potential sentence of more than 170 years in prison.

Julian Assange Is Free

WikiLeaks posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Assange was free on Monday evening. In addition, the organization published a video where Assange is seen leaving the UK via plane. 

Image | David G. Silvers, Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Graphic Tribe (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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