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'Julian Assange Is FREE', WikiLeaks Says * 100PercentFedUp.com * by Danielle

NEWS HEADLINES: ‘Julian Assange Is FREE’, WikiLeaks Says * 100PercentFedUp.com * by Danielle

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reportedly reached a plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department that will allow him to go free.

Assange has been “held in a prison outside London for the last five years and fought extradition to the U.S.,” NBC News stated.

“Court documents revealing Assange’s plea deal were filed Monday evening in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean. Assange was expected to make an appearance in that court and to be sentenced to 62 months, with credit for time served in British prison, meaning he would be free to return to Australia, where he was born,” Chief Nerd wrote, citing NBC News.

“Julian Assange is free. 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. This is the result of a global campaign that spanned grass-roots organisers, press freedom campaigners, legislators and leaders from across the political spectrum, all the way to the United Nations. This 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. We will provide more information as soon as possible,” Wikileaks wrote.

“After more than five years in a 2×3 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. WikiLeaks published groundbreaking stories of government corruption and human rights abuses, holding the powerful accountable for their actions. As editor-in-chief, Julian paid severely for these principles, and for the people’s right to know. 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. Julian’s freedom is our freedom,” it added.

Here’s footage of Assange boarding a plane after his release from prison:

“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,” Stella Assange said.

“This was an independent decision made by the Department of Justice and there was no White House involvement in the plea deal decision,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement, according to NBC News. 

Per NBC News:

Assange was charged by criminal information — which typically signifies a plea deal — with conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information, the court documents say. A letter from Justice Department official Matthew McKenzie to U.S. District Judge Ramona Manglona of the Northern Mariana Islands District said that Assange would appear in court at 9 a.m. local time Wednesday (7 p.m. ET Tuesday) to plead guilty and that the Justice Department expects Assange will return to Australia, his country of citizenship, after the proceedings.

U.S. charges against Assange stem from one of the largest publications of classified information in American history, which took place during President Barack Obama’s first term. Starting in late 2009, according to the government, Assange conspired with Chelsea Manning, a military intelligence analyst, to use his WikiLeaks website to disclose tens of thousands of activity reports about the war in Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of reports about the war in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of State Department cables and assessment briefs of detainees at the U.S. detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

From The Hill:

A plane believed to be carrying Julian Assange landed Tuesday in Bangkok, as the WikiLeaks founder was on his way to enter a plea deal with the U.S. government that will free him and resolve the legal case that spanned years and continents over the publication of a trove of classified documents.

Chartered flight VJT199 landed after noon at Don Mueang International Airport, north of the Thai capital. Airport officials told The Associated Press the plane was only in Bangkok for refueling and was scheduled to depart Tuesday evening for Saipan, the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth in the Western Pacific, where he will appear in court Wednesday morning local time.

He’s expected to plead guilty to an Espionage Act charge of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified national defense information, according to the U.S. Justice Department in a letter filed in court.

Assange is expected to return to his home country of Australia after his plea and sentencing. The hearing is taking place in Saipan because of Assange’s opposition to traveling to the continental U.S. and the court’s proximity to Australia, prosecutors said.





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