WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Freed After Years Of Legal Battle
Julian Assange

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Freed After Years Of Legal Battle

4 weeks ago
1 min read

After more than a decade of legal battles, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, has been freed by a US court following a plea deal with the Department of Justice.
The Australian journalist, known for publishing classified U.S. information related to its dealings in Afghanistan and Iraq, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, to conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified information.

According to the Associated Press, Assange admitted guilt in relation to charges concerning the national defense of the United States. The plea deal, which allowed him to return to Australia without serving jail time, included a prohibition on re-entering the United States without prior approval. “Guilty to the information,” Assange replied when asked by the judge if he would plead guilty or not guilty.

“With this pronouncement, it appears that you will be able to walk out of this courtroom a free man,” the judge announced, marking the end of Assange’s legal limbo.
The Department of Justice confirmed the travel restriction in a statement: “Pursuant to the plea agreement, Assange is prohibited from returning to the United States without permission.”

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Assange, 52, had been held in the United Kingdom since his arrest in April 2019, following seven years of asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. His asylum was revoked, leading to his arrest by British authorities for breaching bail conditions related to separate sexual assault allegations in Sweden, which he has consistently denied.

The core of the US case against Assange involved 18 counts, including violations of the Espionage Act. These charges stemmed from WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of a large collection of classified U.S. military and diplomatic documents provided by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. Additionally, Assange was accused of conspiring with Manning to hack a government computer network by attempting to crack a password. He has been fighting against extradition to the United States since his indictment.

Jennifer Robinson, one of Assange’s lawyers, expressed her relief following the hearing. “It’s a huge relief to Julian Assange, to his family, to his friends, to his supporters, and to everyone who believes in free speech around the world, that he can now return home to Australia and be reunited with his family,” she said. She also warned of the case’s broader implications, stating, “This case sets a dangerous precedent that should be a concern to journalists everywhere.”
Mr.. Assange after signing his plea deal, boarded a plane to Australia where he united with his family.


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