from Associated Press

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange returns to Australia a free man after US legal battle ends


CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange returned to his homeland Australia aboard a charter jet and raised a celebratory clenched fist as his supporters cheered on Wednesday, hours after pleading guilty to obtaining and publishing U.S. military secrets in a deal with Justice Department prosecutors that concludes a drawn-out legal saga.

Assange told Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in a phone call from the capital Canberra’s airport tarmac that Australian government intervention in the U.S. prosecution had saved his life, Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson said.

Assange embraced his wife Stella Assange and father John Shipton who were waiting on the tarmac, but avoided media at a news conference less than than two hours after he landed.

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