Release of Julian Assange: “It’s a huge relief”, reacts Antoine Vey, one of his lawyers

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“It’s a huge relief,” reacts Maître Antoine Vey, one of Julian Assange’s lawyers after the plea agreement concluded with the American justice system under the terms of which he will regain freedom after five years of pretrial detention in the United Kingdom. “He pleaded guilty, but what matters is that he is free,” comments the lawyer.

Julian Assange was prosecuted for having exposed, from 2010, more than 700,000 confidential documents relating to American military and diplomatic activities, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It’s a huge relief for all the people around the world, who are obviously very numerous, whether they are journalists, activists, NGOs, lawyers, jurists, finally hundreds of millions of people who followed the fate of Assange and who, today, for the first time in fifteen years, saw him in this video that was released by WikiLeaks walking in the open air and getting on a plane,” he explained.

“I hope it will be a new life for Julian Assange”
The WikiLeaks founder, detained since 2019, took a plane to London, to appear before a federal court in the Mariana Islands, a US territory in the Pacific. “For those who saw him in extremely difficult conditions at the high-security prison of Bellemare, it is a magnificent image and we imagine that he will finally be able to see his children again, to be able to read the books he wants, to be able to choose the food he wants to eat and it will be, I hope, a new life for Assange after the first life of Assange”, hoped his lawyer.

Julian Assange negotiated a plea agreement with the American justice system which was demanding his extradition. “We must not focus on this judicial agreement which has the merit of existing and which has the merit of giving him this freedom”, says lawyer Antoine Vey,

For Julian Assange’s lawyer, this release “is also an opportunity to put an end to this mythology”, according to which WikiLeaks would have endangered American citizens. “No one was put in danger by his information. Moreover, the United States never supported him and today concluded an agreement which clearly shows that this was never the case,” asserts lawyer Antoine Vey, “Today, he is freed. What we should be happy about is that he will be able to regain his freedom. There will be a time for analysis, but clearly, what an ordeal, what martyrdom he had to endure personally for having done something which was simply to disseminate true information,” he said.

This article is originally published on francetvinfo.fr

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