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Julian Assange Reaches Plea Deal With U.S. – One America News Network

NEWS HEADLINES: Julian Assange Reaches Plea Deal With U.S. – One America News Network

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Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange hold banners and placards as they protest in support of him. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
6:10 PM – Monday, June 24, 2024

According to court filings, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, intends to enter into a plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department this week to admit guilt to a conspiracy charge. This will allow Assange to be released from a five-year sentence in a UK prison.

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Court documents state that Assange was accused of conspiring to collect and reveal material related to national defense through “criminal information.”

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Ramona Manglona of the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, Justice Department official Matthew McKenzie stated that Assange would enter a guilty plea in court on Wednesday at 9 a.m. local time, or 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The DOJ also stated that Assange is expected to return to Australia, where he is a citizen, after the proceedings.

The United States filed charges against Assange in response to one of the biggest leaks of secret material in American history, which occurred during then-President Barack Obama’s first term.

The government claims that beginning in late 2009, Assange and military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning colluded to use his website WikiLeaks to release hundreds of thousands of reports about the war in Iraq, tens of thousands of activity reports about the war in Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of State Department cables, and assessment briefs of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

The Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory in the Pacific Ocean, is home to the U.S. District Court. On Monday night, court documents detailing Assange’s official plea agreement were filed there. It was anticipated that Assange will come before that court, where he would get a sentence of 62 months with credit for time served in a British jail, allowing him to freely return to his birthplace.

After spending seven years in self-exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he is said to have fathered two children, Assange was arrested in April 2019 after his asylum was revoked.

He is currently being held at the high-security Belmarsh Prison on the outskirts of London.

More than five years ago, in May 2019, a superseding indictment was returned against Assange, and a second superseding indictment was returned in June 2020.

For over 10 years, Assange has resisted being extradited to the United States. He asked for guarantees that he could rely on the First Amendment in a U.S. trial, and in March, the London High Court granted him permission for a full hearing on his appeal.

The dates of the hearing related to Assange’s free speech rights were set for July 9th–10th.

Meanwhile, Manning was given a 35-year sentence to serve in a military prison. However, in the last days of his presidency in 2017, Obama commuted the sentence. After refusing to answer questions from a grand jury, Manning was later found in contempt of court and detained for almost a year until attempting suicide in 2020.

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