June 25, 2024

USA: Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Accepted A Plea Deal With The United States Government. He Is A Free Man After Pleading Guilty With Time Served. He Is Heading Home To Australia.

Sky News Australia published June 24, 2024: Julian Assange has left the UK. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been released from Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom and has left the country. This is according to a statement by Wikileaks posted on X.

Mr Assange has agreed to enter a plea deal with the Biden administration that would allow him to avoid prison in the United States, according to newly filed federal court documents. Under the new terms, the Justice Department will seek a 62-month sentence, which is equal to the amount of time Assange has already served in prison in London while fighting his extradition to the US. The deal would then credit that time served allowing Assange to immediately return to Australia.
10 News First pubilshed June 24, 2024: Julian Assange Walks Free, Will Return To Australia. In a major development, Australian Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has walked free from a British prison after striking a plea deal over US Criminal Charges.

written by Siladitya Ray
Tuesday June 25, 2024

TOPLINE A plane carrying Julian Assange from the U.K. landed in Bangkok on Tuesday afternoon, but the Wikileaks founder is scheduled to proceed to the little-known island in the western Pacific, where he will appear before a U.S. federal court.

According to the Associated Press, Assange arrived at the Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok on board a chartered plane VJT199.

The plane—operated by Malta-based chartered service provider VistaJet—arrived in Bangkok at around 12.30 p.m. local time, flight tracking data shows.

Citing an unnamed senior Thai official, AFP reported the chartered jet would get refueled and resupplied during the stopover and Assange will leave for the island of Saipan at 9 p.m. local time.

Saipan is the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands—a U.S. territory located in the Western Pacific around 135 miles northeast of Guam.

Assange will appear before a U.S. Federal Court in Saipan at 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday, where he will enter a guilty plea on one count of conspiring to obtain and disclose classified U.S. national defense documents.

U.S. Federal Judge Ramona V. Manglona will oversee Assange’s Wednesday hearing, the Saipan Tribune reported.


The Northern Mariana Islands territory is made up of 14 northernmost islands of the Mariana archipelago. The island chain had previously been a colony of Spain, Germany and Japan, and it served as a launching point for the Japanese invasion of Guam after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The U.S. took control of the island after Japan was defeated in World War II. After several failed attempts to integrate with Guam, the island’s residents voted to become a U.S. commonwealth in 1975. Saipan is both the capital of the territory and its largest island.


According to U.S. prosecutors, Saipan was chosen as the site of Assange’s plea and sentencing, as the Wikileaks founder was unwilling to travel to the U.S. mainland. Saipan’s proximity to Australia, Assange’s home country, is one of the reasons he agreed to go there, the prosecutors said. According to a reporter from Australian public broadcaster ABC, Assange’s legal team feared he could potentially face the death penalty or life imprisonment if he went to the U.S. mainland, “and they wouldn't be able to get him back out.” The reporter speculated that the decision to hold the plea and sentencing in Saipan may have been a “really significant part of getting this deal over the line.”


After entering his plea Assange will receive a 62 months prison sentence for the time he’s already served in a U.K. prison. Shortly after the plea and sentencing the Wikileaks founder is expected to return to his home country of Australia.


Stephen Smith, Australia’s High Commissioner to the U.K. traveled with Assange when he left the U.K., Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told his country’s parliament on Tuesday. It is unclear if Smith will go to Saipan with Assange and accompany him back to Australia.
Sky News, Australia local
written by Staff
Tuesday June 25, 2024

The publication of masses of confidential information on website WikiLeaks in 2010 made Assange notorious, and sparked more than a decade's worth of legal battles.

US authorities have agreed to drop their demand for Julian Assange to be extradited from the UK after reaching a plea deal with the WikiLeaks founder.

In return for pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information, Assange will be sentenced to time served, 62 months - the time he has already spent in a British prison, according to court documents.

Once the guilty plea is accepted by a judge, the 52-year-old will be free to return to Australia, the country of his birth.

American prosecutors had alleged that Assange put lives at risk when he helped former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal diplomatic cables and military files that WikiLeaks put online in 2010.

He has been locked in a legal battle in the UK over his extradition, which included him entering the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in 2012 prior to his detention in Belmarsh prison - where he has been since May 2019.

'Julian is free!'

In a post on X, WikiLeaks said Assange left Belmarsh on Monday morning after being granted bail by the High Court. By the afternoon he was at Stansted Airport where he boarded a plane and left the UK.

"After more than five years in a 2x3 metre cell, isolated 23 hours a day, he will soon reunite with his wife Stella Assange, and their children, who have only known their father from behind bars," the organisation said.

Mrs Assange also took to social media, sharing a video montage of her husband in a car and then boarding a plane.

She wrote: "Julian is free!!!!

"Words cannot express our immense gratitude to YOU - yes YOU, who have all mobilised for years and years to make this come true. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU."

Mrs Assange also shared an image on X of her husband video-calling her from Stansted airport on Monday.

Assange's plea and sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday morning, local time (Tuesday evening UK time) on Saipan, one of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The hearing is taking place in the US Commonwealth territory because of Assange's opposition to travelling to one of the 50 US states and the court's proximity to Australia.

Assange's brother Gabriel Shipton told Sky News this morning that the Wikileaks founder is "overwhelmed to be out of prison".

Mr Shipton added: "He's been on a plane for a very long time now... I've been speaking to him this week and just going through all the details with him.

"He's been very anxious, very excited, and he's looking forward to spending time with his family and being free, being able to have the sun shining on his face, see the birds, go for a swim in the ocean back in Australia.

"He's very much looking forward to that."

Craig Murray, a friend of Assange, told Sky News the news was "absolutely wonderful".

He said: "The whole family is totally elated that we have finally got an end to this terrible saga."

Mr Murray said the entire ordeal has been "very taxing" on Assange with his imprisonment taking a toll on both his physical and mental health.

He added: "We are lucky that he is a very resilient man and he will recover and we will get our Julian fully back."

More than a decade-long fight

Assange has been fighting extradition to the US for more than a decade.

In a January 2021 ruling, then district judge Vanessa Baraitser said he should not be sent to the US, citing a real and "oppressive" risk of suicide, while ruling against him on all other issues.

Later that year, US authorities won a High Court bid to overturn this block, paving the way towards Assange's extradition.

In June 2022, the UK government approved the extradition of Assange to the US, with then home secretary Priti Patel having signed the extradition order.

In February of this year, he made one final attempt under UK law to avoid being sent to the US.

In March, Dame Victoria Sharp and Mr Justice Johnson dismissed most of Assange's legal arguments - but said unless assurances were given by the US, he would be able to bring an appeal on three grounds.

These assurances were that Assange would be protected by and allowed to rely on the First Amendment - which protects freedom of speech in the US - that he would not be "prejudiced at trial" due to his nationality, and that the death penalty would not be imposed.

Three months later, in May, two High Court judges ruled that he would be allowed to appeal against being extradited, would not face the death penalty and that he could rely on the First Amendment if he faced a trial for spying.

The Australian government said it continues to provide consular assistance to Assange.

"Prime Minister Albanese has been clear - Mr Assange's case has dragged on for too long and there is nothing to be gained by his continued incarceration," a spokesperson said.

***This is the video I made and shared on social media about this news***
This is the kind of video you'll see if you follow me on all social media platforms. Every video I create is uniquely taylored to the story. I enjoy making these videos for you. :)
GlobalAwareness101 published Yaaay! Great news! 🥳🎉👋 WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Is a Free Man, Accepts Plea Deal With US. Click the square button on the lower right to enlarge the screen.

I customized this background and description and added the captions that I proofread for you.

No comments: