ua en ru

US may strike plea deal with WikiLeaks founder Assange - WSJ

US may strike plea deal with WikiLeaks founder Assange - WSJ Archive photo: Julian Assange (

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may reach a plea deal with the US government, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The US Department of Justice is considering whether to allow Julian Assange to plead guilty to reduced charges of mishandling classified information.

WSJ writes that this opens up the possibility for a deal that could ultimately lead to his release from a British prison.

Assange is embroiled in a protracted legal battle with the British government to avoid extradition to the US for future trial over the publication of thousands of confidential US military reports and diplomatic cables in 2010.

Currently, a British court is considering whether to allow the founder of WikiLeaks a last chance for appeal. After the US prosecutors charged him in 2019, he was arrested by UK law enforcement officials and has since been held in a London prison.


WikiLeaks is an international non-profit organization that publishes secret information obtained from anonymous sources or through leaks of such information.

Founded in 2006 by the Sunshine Press organization, the founders claimed to possess a database of 1.2 million documents collected within the first year of the site's existence.

The organization has released a series of significant documents, resulting in widespread coverage in newspapers. Early publications included documents such as war expenditures in Afghanistan and a report on corruption in Kenya.

In April 2010, WikiLeaks published footage taken during the Baghdad airstrike on July 12, 2007, showing journalists from Reuters among others being killed in an attack by an AH-64 Apache helicopter.

Julian Assange's persecution by the US

The United States accuses Julian Assange on 18 counts, including theft of classified information, espionage, and conspiracy to hack computer networks. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison.

For seven years, from 2012 to 2019, the WikiLeaks founder sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the UK, which granted him asylum. This allowed him to evade extradition to Sweden, where he faced allegations of sexual assault.

In April 2019, a British court found Assange guilty of failing to appear in court in 2012. Ecuadorian authorities permitted British police to enter the embassy and arrest Assange.

In May 2019 and June 2020, the US government announced new charges against Assange, accusing him of violating the 1917 Espionage Act and alleging that he conspired with hackers.

What preceded

Recently, a former CIA employee Joshua Schulte, who several years ago leaked a large volume of classified documents about the Central Intelligence Agency's tools to WikiLeaks, was sentenced to 40 years in prison in the United States.

Last September, a court near Paris rejected a request from an association seeking to allow WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to seek political asylum in the country.