WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange To Be Released After Plea Deal

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange To Be Released After Plea Deal

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Is preparing to be released after he entered into a plea deal with the U.S. government, ending his fight with the U.S. over national security breaches.

Assange pled guilty to a single count of conspiring to obtain and disclose information related to the national defense in a U.S. federal court in Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth in the Pacific, this week, according to newly filed court papers.

Under the terms of the agreement, Assange faces a sentence of 62 months, equivalent to the time he has already served at Belmarsh Prison in the United Kingdom while fighting extradition to the United States.

He would be returning to his home country of Australia after his release, following the court proceeding later this week.

A federal grand jury in Virginia indicted Assange on espionage and computer misuse charges in 2019, in what the Justice Department described as one of the largest compromises of classified information in American history.

The indictment accused Assange of conspiring with then-military Private Chelsea Manning to obtain and then publish national secret reports about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables.

“No responsible actor, journalist or otherwise, would purposefully publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential human sources in a war zone, exposing them to the gravest of dangers,” said former Assistant Attorney General John Demers at the time of that indictment.

Manning was arrested in 2010 and served seven years in prison before President Barack Obama commuted her sentence.