US judge officially acquits Julian Assange

It ends a long legal standoff between Julian Assange and the United States. The founder of WikiLeaks was declared “free” by the US justice system this Wednesday, following a criminal proceeding.

Judge Ramona v. “You can walk out of this courtroom a free man,” Manglona said. Julian Assange then left the court without making a statement. According to WikiLeaks, a private jet carrying him flew from the territory to the Australian capital, Canberra.

“I encouraged my source”

The 52-year-old former computer scientist accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified US documents in the 2010s pleaded guilty to obtaining and disclosing information about national security, according to a deal reached with the courts. “I encouraged my source,” US soldier Chelsea Manning admitted on the stand to a tired but visibly sober Julian Assange, “to provide classified material” in the wake of the massive leak.

Dressed in a black suit and ocher tie, his hair slicked back, the Australian whistleblower took his two lawyers in his arms. He left the United Kingdom on Monday, where he spent five years in prison, to stand trial in federal court in the tiny U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands after pleading guilty. Under the terms of the deal, he was sentenced to a sentence that already includes five years of pre-trial detention.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese welcomed the “welcome development” on Wednesday. For his appearance, the whistleblower was specifically accompanied by former Australian Prime Minister and current ambassador to Washington, Kevin Rudd.

A call for donations for his return to Australia

Stella Assange underlined that “Julian’s recovery is the priority now”, “he has been in bad shape for five years” and “getting in touch with nature”. This South African lawyer has launched an appeal for donations to pay the $520,000 her husband owes the Australian government for chartering a plane to take her to Australia. He was “not allowed to go on a commercial flight”, he told X. The United Nations also welcomed the publication, saying the case raised “serious human rights concerns”.

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Former US Vice President Mike Pence called the deal a “miscarriage of justice” that “insults the service and sacrifice of the men and women of our armed forces”. Faced with 18 charges, Julian Assange theoretically faces up to 175 years in prison under the Espionage Act.

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