Assange Reaches Plea Deal, Set to Return to Australia

Julian Assange has reached a plea deal with the U.S. that will allow him to return to Australia after five years in a British prison.
Assange Reaches Plea Deal, Set to Return to Australia
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Key Takeaways

  • Assange has reached a plea deal with the U.S. and will return to Australia.
  • He has spent the last five years in Belmarsh Prison, London.
  • The charges relate to one of the largest publications of classified information in U.S. history.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge this week as part of a plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department, allowing him to go free after spending five years in a British prison.

The plea deal will see Assange charged with conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information. Court documents reveal that Assange is scheduled to appear in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands on Wednesday at 9 a.m. local time.

Current location

Assange has been held in Belmarsh Prison in London for the past five years.

Before his imprisonment, he spent seven years in self-exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London until his asylum was withdrawn in 2019. Assange’s charges stem from his collaboration with Chelsea Manning to publish tens of thousands of classified documents on WikiLeaks during President Obama’s first term.

The documents included activity reports from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, State Department cables, and Guantanamo Bay detainee briefs.

After court

After his court appearance, Assange is expected to be sentenced to 62 months, with credit for time served, allowing him to return to Australia, his homeland.

Assange has fought extradition to the U.S. for over a decade. The High Court in London recently granted him a full hearing on his appeal, focusing on his First Amendment rights and potential discrimination as a foreign national in the U.S. His extradition fight included a scheduled hearing on free speech rights for July.

History with Bitcoin

Assange has a notable history with Bitcoin.

He started accepting Bitcoin donations in 2011 after PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa blocked donations to WikiLeaks, citing its controversial activities.

Bitcoin’s decentralized nature proved vital in bypassing financial censorship, and Assange led the way.

Bitbo Dashboard → / Original Article