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Assange was released in the courtroom, his case was officially suspended

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jun26,2024

Assange was released in the courtroom, his case officially suspended

Photo: Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrived in the Northern Mariana Islands on Wednesday, June 26, where he was expected to plead guilty to violating the US Espionage Act, which would allow him to be released and return home to Australia, reports Reuters.

Assange, 52, arrived at the courthouse on the island of Saipan in a white SUV.

Dozens of journalists from around the world gathered in front of the courthouse to cover the trial. Media representatives were not allowed inside the courtroom to cover the hearing.

Assange has agreed to plead guilty to one criminal charge of conspiracy to obtain and disclose classified U.S. national defense documents, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern Mariana Islands.

A U.S. territory located in the western Pacific ocean, was chosen because of Assange's reluctance to travel to the United States and because of the islands' proximity to Australia, prosecutors said.

The judge approved his confession and Assange is expected to return to Australia, US Justice Department officials said.

"Julian Assange arrived on US territory on the island of Saipan to formally conclude a plea deal, which should never have taken place,” WikiLeaks said in a post on Platform X.

Assange will be sentenced to 62 months of the time he has already served at the hearing.

Australian-born Assange spent more than five years in a maximum-security British prison and spent seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London while fighting sex crimes charges brought against him by Swedish authorities and possible extradition to the United States, where he faces 18 criminal charges.

Assange's supporters consider him a victim because he exposed US misconduct and possible crimes committed by the military, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. Official Washington said that the disclosure of secret documents put people's lives at risk.

The Australian government advocated for his release and raised this issue with the United States several times.

"Any situation “In which an Australian finds himself in long-term confinement without legal authorization, requires the government to act on his behalf, and we are doing that,” Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles told the ABC on Wednesday, June 26.< /p>

Marles added that Assange's release would not worsen relations between two close allies, Australia and the United States.

Prepared by: Sergei Daga

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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