BREAKING: Julian Assange reaches plea deal with US, will walk free after 5 years in UK prison

Julian Assange has reached an agreement with the United States Department of Justice that will allow him to walk free if he pleads guilty to conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defense information. The crimes date back to 2009.

The WikiLeaks founder spent seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London before being forcibly removed and transferred to Belmarsh Prison, where he spent the past five years, much to the detriment of his physical and mental health.

According to NBC News, the plea agreement was filed on Monday with the US District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, an American territory in the Pacific Ocean. He was expected to be sentenced to 62 months, with the credit for the five years he spent at Belmarsh meaning he would be free to return to his home country of Australia. The deal has yet to be approved by a federal judge in the US. 

In May, a UK High Court granted Assange leave to appeal his extradition to the US after his attorneys succesfully argued that the DOJ did not go far enough to assure authorities in the UK that the US would be granted constitutional protections, that the "death penalty is not imposed" in case of conviction, and that the court would not be "prejudiced by reason of his nationality."

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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