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Julian Assange Freed After 14-Year Battle with Bitcoin

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks co-founder, was freed after 14 years, aided by a $500K Bitcoin donation. Released from Belmarsh prison, he avoided U.S. soil by flying to Saipan, then returned to Australia debt-free.

Photo by André François McKenzie / Unsplash

Bitcoin Donation Secures Assange’s Release

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks co-founder, has been released after a 14-year struggle against U.S. extradition, thanks to a generous anonymous Bitcoiner. The donation of over 8 Bitcoin, worth approximately $500,000, helped settle the debts Assange’s family incurred from travel and settlement expenses. This financial boost was crucial in Assange’s final efforts to secure his freedom.

Assange’s Strategic Move to Avoid U.S. Soil

According to the Bitcoin news, On June 24, Assange was released from the high-security Belmarsh prison in the U.K. and swiftly departed on a private plane to Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory.

By planning his journey to avoid touching American soil, Assange appeared in a district court in Saipan on June 26, where he pleaded guilty to one charge of breaching the U.S. Espionage Act. This maneuver was pivotal in his expedited return to Australia.

Stella Assange, Julian’s wife, launched a crowdfunding campaign to alleviate the $520,000 debt owed to the Australian government for chartering a flight from Saipan to Australia.

Source: Stella Assange

Within 10 hours of posting the donation link, an anonymous Bitcoiner contributed over 8 Bitcoin, nearly covering the goal. In addition, the campaign received over 300,000 British pounds ($380,000) in fiat donations.

Consequently, Assange returned to Australia debt-free. After serving the equivalent of his sentence in the U.K., he walked out of the Saipan courtroom a free man, highlighting the significant role of cryptocurrency in supporting high-profile legal battles.