Julian Assange walks free, wife Stella appeals for donations for return flight

Julian Assange was freed after pleading guilty to violating US espionage laws, ending a 14-year legal battle. His wife, Stella, is crowdfunding to cover the USD 520,000 debt for his charter flight home to Australia.
Julian Assange walks free, wife Stella appeals for donations for return flight
Jaano Junction

Hours before WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange walked free on Wednesday, his wife, Stella Assange, on Tuesday said the cost of her husband's return flight was half a million dollars.

Appealing for donations to cover the USD 520,000 debt for Julian's jet, Stella, in a fundraising campaign on X said, "Julian's travel to freedom comes at a massive cost: Julian will owe USD 520,000 which he is obligated to pay back to the Australian government for charter Flight VJ199."

The crowdfunding for Julian had collected 56 per cent of the donation, amounting to £296,341, at the time of writing this report.

The project will receive the last donation on July 23, 2024.

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Julian Assange walks free, wife Stella appeals for donations for return flight

Julian Assange walked free on Wednesday from a court on the US Pacific island territory of Saipan after pleading guilty to violating US espionage law in a deal that allowed him to head straight home to Australia.

His release ends a 14-year legal saga in which Assange spent more than five years in a British high-security jail and seven years in asylum at the Ecuadorean embassy in London battling extradition to the US, where he faced 18 criminal charges.

During the three-hour hearing, Assange pleaded guilty to one criminal count of conspiring to obtain and disclose classified national defence documents but said he had believed the US Constitution's First Amendment, which protects free speech, shielded his activities.

Chief US District Judge Ramona V Manglona accepted his guilty plea and released him due to time already served in a British jail.

Source: India Today

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