Julian Assange of Wikileaks “free” after an agreement with American justice

Julian Assange of Wikileaks “free” after an agreement with American justice
Julian Assange of Wikileaks “free” after an agreement with American justice
DANIEL LEAL / AFP Julian Assange reached an agreement with the American justice system which allows him to regain his freedom on June 24, 2024.

DANIEL LEAL / AFP

Julian Assange reached an agreement with the American justice system which allows him to regain his freedom on June 24, 2024.

INTERNATIONAL – The epilogue of a long soap opera. One of the most wanted men in the world, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, reached a guilty plea agreement with the American justice system on Monday, June 24, allowing him to regain his freedom after five years of detention in the United Kingdom.

Prosecuted for having exposed hundreds of thousands of confidential documents to broad daylight, this 52-year-old Australian must appear this Wednesday, June 25 at 9 a.m. local (Wednesday 1 a.m. in France) before a federal court in the Mariana Islands, US territory of Pacific, according to court documents made public overnight from Monday to Tuesday.

Now targeted by criminal information for “conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information”he should plead guilty to this charge alone, according to these documents, which also cite his accomplice, the American soldier Chelsea Manning, at the origin of this massive leak.

“Julian Assange is free”

Julian Assange should be sentenced to 62 months in prison, already served on remand in London, which would allow him to return free to his native Australia.

“Julian Assange is free” and left his prison in the United Kingdom late Monday, according to Wikileaks. He boarded a plane at Stansted Airport, the organization said, welcoming the fact that he would be reunited with his wife, Stella Assange, and their children, “result of a global campaign”. The organization then released a 13-second video in which we see him climbing the stairs of the aircraft.

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The Australian government also welcomed this outcome, believing that the Assange affair had “dragged on for too long” and that his continued detention no longer presented any interest.

The end of 14 years of procedures

This agreement, which puts an end to a saga of almost 14 years, comes two weeks before a new crucial hearing before the British courts. This was to examine on July 9 and 10 Julian Assange’s appeal against his extradition to the United States.

He was fighting not to be handed over to American justice, which is pursuing him for having made public since 2010 more than 700,000 confidential documents on American military and diplomatic activities, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. He theoretically faced up to 175 years in prison under the Espionage Act. The British government approved his extradition in June 2022.

The founder of WikiLeaks who became a symbol of press freedom was arrested by British police in April 2019 after seven years spent in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in order to avoid his extradition to Sweden in an investigation for rape, dismissed the same year.

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