Julian Assange Returns to Australia After 12-Year Legal Battle

Julian Assange Returns to Australia After 12-Year Legal Battle

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks was released from a British prison on Monday and is planning to return to Australia after he faced 12 years in a US prison after being extradited on charges of jumping bail in 2019. After five years of isolation in a high-security prison and almost seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assagae released Accept installations of a large-scale violation of US classified information that led to a federal colony of charges against him. This plea bargain brings to an end his long sorry of the law, where he gets out of the custody of the United States and goes back to Australia with the condition of awaiting trial in a remote United States Pacific territory.

The Plea Deal

The plea deal entails Assange taking a misdemeanor charge which lies in the multiple counts indictment regarding the biggest disclosure of secrets involving the US. The organization released nearly half a million documents related to the US warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan secretly. In return, the US prosecutors are demanding a 62-month sentence which Assange has spent in the UK hence he will be free to go back to Australia as soon as he appears in the court in the US-controlled region of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Avoiding Extradition

This one was also grounded on fear of having a biased trial and being given a life imprisonment sentence in the US if extradited. The plea bargain deal that needs the approval of a federal judge involves a hearing and a sentencing set for Wednesday in Saipan, the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands. This US territory is 3,700 miles west of Hawaii and closer to Australia so it is easier for Assange to be returned home.

Charges and Controversies

Assange was wanted in the US over espionage offenses in association with WikiLeaks, more specifically disclosure of classified documents provided by the now forsaken US Army intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning. Such documents consisted of logs outlining the US military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, that Assange labeled as evidence of war crimes. He was accused of 18 counts of charges that could jail him for a total of 175 years. Some consider as an achievement of WikiLeaks, while others say that it puts people’s lives and states’ security in danger.

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The main legal episodes in Assange’s struggle

  • 2006: Assange founded WikiLeaks.
  • 2010: WikiLeaks published a video of the US helicopters firing at civilians in Iraq, and then several thousands of documents belonging to the military.
  • 2012: Assange fled to the Ecuador embassy in London requesting political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden to answer to charges that he sexually assaulted a woman.
  • 2019: After eleven years Ecuador decided to revoke asylum and Assange was arrested. He was later locked up in Belmarsh Prison.
  • 2022-2024: His extradition was authorized by the UK to the US, but he appealed and the current plea bargain situation happened.
  • Julian Assange is now out of Belmarsh’s maximum security prison, where he wears more than 1901 days. Released by the High Court in London on June 24th he left the UK through Stansted airport the same day.
  • Assange’s release is thus the result of a viral worldwide action that included ordinary citizens; media freedom activists; politicians; and the United Nations Organizations. They helped in the negotiations with the US Department of Justice hence yielding a pending agreement. Further elaboration will be made public shortly.
  • After the man’s extradition to London, he stated that he intended to meet his wife, Stella Assange, and children after spending more than five years in isolation.
  • Living as WikiLeaks’s editor-in-chief Assange subjected himself to severe punishment for disclosing the governmental corrupt practices and human rights violations, promoting the culture of openness and people’s right to know.
  • Now back in Australia, his release is the result of the constant lobbying by his fans and the win for freedom of the press and human rights which are victories for everyone who cherishes these values.

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