WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives in Bangkok on his way to court and later freedom

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A plane believed to be carrying WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange landed in Bangkok on Tuesday, as he is on the way to enter a plea deal with the US government that will free him and resolve the legal case that spanned years and continents over the publication of a trove of classified documents. The chartered plane VJT199 landed afternoon at Don Mueang International Airport, north of the Thai capital. It is unclear if the plane is only refuelling or how Assange will continue travelling to the Northern Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth in the Western Pacific, where he will appear in court Wednesday morning Saipan time.

He’s expected to plead guilty to an Espionage Act charge of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified national defence information, according to the US Justice Department in a letter filed in court. Assange is expected to return to his home country of Australia after his plea and sentencing. The hearing is taking place in Saipan, the largest island in the Northern Marianas, because of Assange’s opposition to travelling to the continental US and the court’s proximity to Australia, prosecutors said.