WikiLeaks founder, Assange released from UK prison

NEWSWikiLeaks founder, Assange released from UK prisonPublished on June 25, 2024By Francis Ugwu

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has been freed after five years of detention at the Belmarsh Prison in London.

Assange’s team announced the development on Tuesday, marking a turn in the long-standing legal battle against his extradition to the United States.

“Julian Assange is free. He left Belmarsh maximum security prison on the morning of 24 June, after having spent 1901 days there,” WikiLeaks wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

“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.”

“As he returns to Australia, we thank all who stood by us, fought for us, and remained utterly committed in the fight for his freedom,” WikiLeaks wrote.

Assange faces charges related to the disclosure of classified information.

WikiLeaks had under Assange’s leadership published multiple top-secret files, including documents related to the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a trove of US diplomatic cables.

The organization in 2010 published a video of a US military helicopter attacking civilians in Baghdad in 2007 after mistaking them for insurgents.

Assange, who is an Australian national, had since been held in the UK since 2019, sparking a protracted legal fight that raised questions about press freedom and the public’s right to know.

However, Assange will soon strike a plea deal in order to avoid further time behind bars, according to newly filed court documents.

According to a letter from the DOJ, he will appear in court in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory in the Pacific, at 9am local time on Wednesday.

The DOJ said it expects Assange to return to his home country of Australia after the proceedings.

WikiLeaks said the international campaign to free Assange has created “the space for a long period of negotiations with the US Department of Justice, leading to a deal that has not yet been formally finalised.”

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