Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has left Britain and is expected to plead guilty in a U.S. federal court, marking an end to his drawn-out legal battle. Assange, 52, exited the UK after being granted bail by the High Court in London on June 24, 2024. According to court filings, he will appear in a courthouse in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, to enter a plea and is anticipated to return to Australia following the proceedings.

Assange’s legal troubles began in 2010 with allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden and escalated with the U.S. indictment for WikiLeaks’ release of classified documents. He could face five years in prison under a plea deal for conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate national defense information, a sentence likely equivalent to time already served in Britain’s Belmarsh Prison.

This development follows years of extradition hearings and international appeals, with notable support from various political figures and civil rights groups who have decried his prosecution as an affront to press freedom. Assange’s release is expected to be finalized this week.