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Montevideo, July 13th 2024 - 22:38 UTC

 

 

Assange released from London maximum security prison

Tuesday, June 25th 2024 - 10:32 UTC
Full article 2 comments
Assange was to appear before a US Federal Court in the Mariana Islands before being allowed to fly on to his native Australia Assange was to appear before a US Federal Court in the Mariana Islands before being allowed to fly on to his native Australia

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been released from London's Maximum Security Belmarsh Prison after reaching a plea deal with US prosecutors whereby he agreed to a 5-year prison sentence for espionage which allowed for the time already served to be counted.

“Julian Assange is free. He left Belmarsh maximum security prison on the morning of June 24, having spent 1,901 days there. The High Court in London has granted him bail and he was released at Stansted airport in the afternoon, where he boarded a plane and left the UK,” Wikileaks posted on X.

“This is the result of a worldwide campaign that has encompassed grassroots organizers, press freedom advocates, 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, which has led to a deal that has not yet formally closed,” it added.

Assange soon boarded a flight to his native Australia to meet with his wife Stella and his children, who “have only known their father behind bars.” However, he was first to appear before a US Federal Court in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean, where he would plead guilty to a charge under the Espionage Act to conspire to obtain and disseminate classified information.

The extradition request would subsequently be withdrawn and Assange would face no further charges, resulting in his release and travel to Australia, given that a five-year sentence already served during his time in prison in the United Kingdom would have been agreed. The choice of the Northern Mariana Islands would have come about because of Assange's refusal to travel to the U.S. mainland and its proximity to Australia.

However, the agreement reached has yet to be approved by a judge. Assange was already en route to Saipan ahead of a hearing that will take place Wednesday. The charter flight made a stop in Bangkok, apparently to refuel, it was also reported.

“There is nothing to be gained from his continued imprisonment and we want him to return home to Australia. We have defended Australia's interests using all appropriate channels,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong pointed out that Albanese had discussed this case for the past two years with US President Joseph Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and insisted that this case be given priority.

Assange was arrested by British authorities on April 11, 2019, after leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he remained a refugee for nearly seven years.

Top Comments

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  • Pugol-H

    But, they have only just finished redecorating his cell in Bellmarsh, a light and cheery shade of prison grey!

    Some people, no gratitude.

    Jun 26th, 2024 - 11:50 am +1
  • imoyaro

    On the bright side he did around fourteen years knocked out of circulation. He is an agent of Putin and Xi, and hopefully his isolation has had serious side effects. (Always trying to stay positive, you understand...)

    Jun 26th, 2024 - 03:19 pm 0
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