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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange pleads guilty

by on25 June 2024

Yeah I did it, saga now over, and he is going back to Oz

WikiLeaks Julian Assange has agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge linked to his alleged involvement in one of the most significant breaches of classified US government material.

According to recently filed federal court documents, this plea deal will allow Assange to avoid imprisonment in the United States.

Under the terms of the agreement, Justice Department prosecutors are seeking a 62-month sentence, equivalent to the time Assange has spent in a high-security London prison while resisting extradition to the US.

The deal would credit this time served, enabling Assange's immediate return to his native Australia.

Although the plea deal awaits approval from a federal judge, WikiLeaks has confirmed that Assange was released from a UK prison on Monday. The group's video shows a black van on a motorway, followed by footage of Assange boarding a plane.

The plea hearing and sentencing are scheduled for Wednesday in the Northern Mariana Islands, a location chosen because Assange resisted setting foot on US soil for his guilty plea.

Prosecutors anticipate that Assange will plead guilty to the charge and be sentenced accordingly.

Assange faced 18 counts from a 2019 indictment related to publishing confidential military records provided by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010 and 2011.

While the maximum sentence could have been up to 175 years in prison, it is unlikely that he will serve the full term.

US officials allege that Assange encouraged Manning to obtain unfiltered US diplomatic cables, potentially endangering confidential sources, Iraq war-related reports, and Guantanamo Bay detainee information.

President Joe Biden has hinted at a possible deal facilitated by Australian government officials to repatriate Assange. However, FBI and Justice Department officials insist that any agreement must include a felony guilty plea.

Last month, a UK court ruled in Assange's favour, granting him the right to appeal his final challenge against extradition to the US—a victory in his ongoing fight to avoid prosecution for alleged crimes in the States.

As someone covering this story since the beginning, it is nice to know it is over. It would also have been over having Assange gone to Sweden to hear his rape case in the first place or not skipped bail to hide in the Ecuadorian embassy. Had he not offended the Ecuadorians and been a problematic guest, he would not have been evicted, arrested and held in a maximum-security prison while he appealed extradition.   

Last modified on 25 June 2024
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