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How Julian Assange’s release from prison unfolded

A plea deal was reached with the US on June 19 and Assange was released from Belmarsh Prison on Monday.

Here is a timeline of the key moments in the release of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange from a UK prison.

– Wednesday June 19

A plea agreement is signed by Assange and the US authorities. As part of the arrangement, Assange will plead guilty to a charge under the US Espionage Act and be sentenced to time served, according to a UK High Court order made on Tuesday June 25.

– Thursday June 20

A bail hearing takes place in private at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the PA news agency understands.

– Monday June 24

Assange is released from Belmarsh Prison in the early hours, and spent several hours at Stansted before his flight left.

The WikiLeaks founder is filmed boarding a chartered flight out of Stansted Airport at 5pm, according to a video released by WikiLeaks on X, formerly Twitter, early on Tuesday. He left the jurisdiction of England and Wales at 6.36pm, High Court judges said.

Julian Assange boarding a plane
Julian Assange boards a plane to leave the UK (@WikiLeaks/PA)

– Tuesday June 25

12.50am: WikiLeaks announces on X: “Julian Assange is free.”

1.10am: His wife, Stella Assange, thanked his supporters on X as she announced he was “free”.

6am: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tells the Australian parliament: “We want him brought home to Australia.”

6.30am: The charter plane carrying Assange lands in Bangkok, according to an online flight tracker. The Bombardier Global 6000 jet remains there on a layover before he travels to the Northern Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth in the Pacific Ocean, for a court hearing on Wednesday.

8.10am: Mrs Assange tells BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that she is “elated” at her husband’s release.

8.52am: Updated court papers filed by the US Justice Department show Assange is scheduled to appear in federal court in Saipan on Wednesday morning local time (midnight UK) to plead guilty to one charge of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified national defence information.

He is said to be expected to return to his home country of Australia after his plea and sentencing.

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