Julian Assange Reaches Agreement To Secure Release

Julian Assange Reaches Agreement To Secure Release

(LibertyInsider.org) – After years of incarceration fighting extradition to the US, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, reached an agreement with Justice Department (DOJ) prosecutors, allowing him to secure his release and return to his native Australia. The development has garnered mixed reactions, from relief and approval to condemnation and concern.

Assange agreed to plead guilty and accept sentencing on one count of conspiring to obtain and disseminate classified US national defense information before US District Judge Ramona Manglona in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory, on June 26. In return, the DOJ agreed to drop the prosecution of all other charges, stop seeking extradition, and allow Assange to return to his Australian homeland.

However, the WikiLeaks founder insisted he would not travel to the mainland US to enter his plea and receive his sentence, and he expressed his desire to return to Australia. As part of the compromise, DOJ prosecutors agreed to allow Assange to execute the agreement in the Northern Mariana Islands, the closest US legal outpost to Australia.

DOJ prosecutors recommended that the judge sentence Assange to time served during his five-year incarceration in the UK’s Belmarsh high-security prison. Manglona agreed, freeing the former tech wizard to return to Australia.

The former tech wizard typically spent 23 hours daily in solitary confinement in a 6.5-foot by 10-foot cell, surrounded by books. He received 1 hour daily of exercise time outside his cell.

Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, thanked his global supporters. She and his social media team continued working to raise more than half a million dollars to repay his travel costs via a chartered twin-engine jet to reach Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands and then continue home to Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese reacted on X, formerly Twitter, on June 25, saying the case had “dragged on for too long” and that Australians wanted “him brought home.”

Still, some argue that the DOJ should never have charged Assange, who they claim pursued typical government reporting. They worry the deal will set a bad precedent, potentially compromising journalistic freedoms in the US and worldwide.

On X, former Vice President Mike Pence characterized the deal as “a miscarriage of justice.” He insisted the DOJ should never make plea deals with anyone who endangers US security.

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