Assange Released from UK Prison, Expected to Plead Guilty in US Deal

The Australian-born activist is expected to strike a deal with the US Department of Justice, court documents say

Julian Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, has been released from a UK prison on Tuesday morning, his team has announced. He has spent the last five years at the Belmarsh Prison in London while fighting extradition to the US, where he faced 18 counts of disseminating classified information.

New court documents indicate that Assange will accept a plea deal to avoid further imprisonment.

“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.”

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

“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.

According to a letter from the DOJ, Assange will appear in court in Sapian, in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory in the Pacific, at 9 am local time on Wednesday. “We anticipate that the defendant will plead guilty to the charge… of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified information relating to the national defense of the United States,” the letter said. 

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

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