Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Following his Guilty Plea in the US, WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange arrives in Australia.

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, returned home on Wednesday after agreeing to a plea deal that freed him from a 14-year legal battle and admitted guilt to breaking US espionage law.

His arrival brings an end to a protracted legal battle that saw Assange fight extradition to Sweden on charges of sexual assault and to the US, where he was facing eighteen criminal charges, for more than five years in a British high-security jail and seven years in asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

These accusations originated from one of the biggest breaches of secret information in US history, which occurred when WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands of classified US military documents on Washington’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2010. Though I acknowledge that it violated the espionage statute, I still felt that the First Amendment protected that activity.”

According to the US government, Chief US District Judge Ramona V. Manglona accepted his guilty plea while pointing out that Assange’s actions did not appear to have caused any personal harm. She released Assange because of time already served in a British jail, and she wished him an early happy birthday. Assange turns 53 on July 3.

Assange’s supporters celebrated him as a hero for exposing war crimes and promoting free speech, while the US government saw him as reckless for putting its agents in danger by publishing their names.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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