Plane believed to be carrying Assange lands in Thailand

Written by on June 25, 2024

An airplane (C) that carried Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is pictured on the tarmac at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok on June 25, 2024. (MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

(LONDON) — A plane believed to be carrying Julian Assange landed on Tuesday in Bangkok, Thailand.

The WikiLeaks founder was photographed boarding a private plane in the United Kingdom after he reached a deal with prosecutors in the United States to plead guilty to a single felony count.

Assange had been accused by the United States of conspiring with Chelsea Manning, who, as an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, leaked to Assange hundreds of thousands of classified documents, including about 250,000 U.S. Department of State cables. WikiLeaks began publishing those documents in 2010.

“Julian Assange is free,” WikiLeaks said in a statement posted to social media early on Tuesday.

Assange early on Monday walked out of London’s Belmarsh High Security Prison after more than five years at the facility, WikiLeaks said. He’d spent 1,901 days there, the group said.

“He was granted bail by the High Court in London and was released at Stansted airport during the afternoon, where he boarded a plane and departed the UK,” WikiLeaks said.

Assange is expected to stop in Thailand before traveling to a the Northern Mariana Islands, where he’s expected to plead guilty in a U.S. federal court. He’s then expected to continue on to his native Australia.

“After more than five years in a 2×3 metre cell, isolated 23 hours a day, he will soon reunite with his wife Stella Assange, and their children, who have only known their father from behind bars,” WikiLeaks said.

Stella Assange, a longtime partner who married Assange in 2022, released a statement praising the “incredible movement” that had sprung up to protest Assange’s detention and the U.S. charges against him.

“A movement of people from all walks of life, from around the world who support not just Julian, and not just us and our family, but what Julian stands for: Truth and justice,” Stella Assange said. “We still need your help. What starts now with Julian’s freedom is a new chapter.”

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