Saturday, July 20, 2024

Julian Assange arrives in Australia – News


The plane carrying Julian Assange has landed in Canberra, Australia. His wife, Stella, and his family were waiting for him at the airport.

A few hours ago, he pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to obtain and disseminate information about national defense” before the American justice court in Saipan, in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US territory in the Pacific Ocean, to put an end to the judicial ordeal. Which lasted 14 years. The confession by the 52-year-old WikiLeaks founder was part of the plea negotiation process granted by US President Joe Biden, which allowed him to leave for his native Australia as a free man. Assange will not be able to return to the United States unless he obtains permission to do so, the US Department of Justice announced following the plea agreement and release of the WikiLeaks founder. A year on a flight to Canberra: “He traveled to the United States without authorization.”

video Assange from leaks to asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy

Dark suit, ocher tie, white hair slicked back, and according to journalists present in the courtroom, Assange was calm and in a good mood. After pleading guilty, he jokingly told Judge Ramona Manglona that he was “waiting for the outcome of the hearing.” He was then sentenced to five years and two months in prison, the same time he had already served in a maximum security prison near London. A necessary but formal ritual, especially since the Australian signed the plea agreement on June 24 in the United Kingdom, before boarding the private plane paid for by raising donations of more than half a million dollars. “I read it carefully,” he said of the agreement.
When the judge asked him what he did to commit the crime he was accused of, Assange replied: “I encouraged my source to provide confidential information in order to publish it. I believe the First Amendment protects such activity…” Therefore, the founder of WikiLeaks did not despair of taking a pebble from his shoe, stressing that in his opinion, “the First Amendment and the Espionage Act are in conflict with each other, but I accept that it will be difficult to win a case like this.” Under all these circumstances.”
Wife Stella admitted she “wasn’t sure until the last 24 hours that this was actually going to happen.” WikiLeaks announced on X that Assange would leave for Australia in the next few hours, adding that the plea deal “was never supposed to happen.” The Canberra government, which has been pressing Washington for months to reach that conclusion, said the issue had been “going on for too long”. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described the agreement reached between the US judiciary and Assange as a “welcome development.”

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Reproduction © Copyright ANSA


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