Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Agrees To Plead Guilty To Espionage

(MENAFN- Newsroom Panama) WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has agreed to plead guilty to violating the Espionage Act and is expected to appear in a U.S. courtroom on the Northern Mariana Islands.
On Wednesday, the 52-year-old is scheduled to appear in court at 9:00 a.m. local time on Wednesday (23:00 GMT Tuesday) and plead guilty to charges of leaking“documents, writings and notes related to national defense, including materials considered secret.”
Wikileaks had released a video from a US military helicopter which showed civilians being killed in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
It also published thousands of confidential documents suggesting that the US military had killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents during the war in Afghanistan.
The revelations became a huge story, prompting reaction from all corners of the globe, and led to intense scrutiny of American involvement in foreign conflicts.
The guilty plea, which is to be finalized Wednesday, will resolve Assange's outstanding legal matters with the U.S. government. With any luck, Assange
will formalize a plea deal and leave a free man following a 14-year legal battle.

Justice Department prosecutors recommended a prison sentence of 62 months in custody as part of the plea agreement. Assange would not spend any time in U.S. custody because, under the plea agreement, he'll receive credit for the approximately five years he has spent in a U.K. prison fighting extradition
to the U.S.
In a letter to the federal judge on Monday, the Justice Department said Assange opposed traveling to the continental U.S. to enter the guilty plea. The Justice Department expects Assange to return to Australia after the court hearing.
Who is Julian Assange?
Assange, an Australian national, was indicted in 2019
by a federal grand jury in Virginia with more than a dozen charges that alleged he illegally obtained and disseminated classified information about America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on his WikiLeaks site. Prosecutors at the time accused him of recruiting individuals to "hack into computers and/or illegally obtain and disclose classified information."
Julian Assange has also spoken in the past on the topic of the Panama Papers:


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