London, Great Britain.- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been freed from prison in the United Kingdom and is on his way home to Australia after agreeing to plead guilty to a single charge of breaching the espionage law in the United States.

The 52-year-old Australian will reportedly plead guilty to one count of conspiring to obtain and disclose classified U.S. national defence documents, according to a filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands.

He was freed from the UK’s high-security Belmarsh prison on Monday and taken to the airport whre he flew out of the country. Assange will appear at a court in Saipan, a U.S. Pacific territory at 9 a.m. on Wednesday (23:00 GMT on Tuesday) where he will be sentenced to 62 months of time already served.

“Julian Assange is free,” Wikileaks said in a statement posted on X.

“He left Belmarsh maximum security prison on the morning of 24 June, after having spent 1901 days there. He was granted bail by the High Court in London and was released at Stanstead airport during the afternoon, where he boarded a plane and departed the UK.”

“Julian is free!!!!” wife Stella wrote on X. “Words cannot express our immense gratitude to YOU – yes, YOU, who have all mobilised for years and years to make this come true. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU.”

Julian Assange rose to prominence with the launch of Wikileaks in 2006, creating an online whistleblower platform for people to submit classified material such as documents and videos anonymously.

Footage of a U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad, which killed a dozen people — including two journalists with Reuters news agency — raised the platform’s profile, while the 2010 release of hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as a trove of diplomatic cables, cemented its reputation.

Wikileaks published material about many countries, but it was the United States, during the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump, that decided to charge him in 2019 with 17 counts of breaching the Espionage Act.

U.S. government lawyers had argued he conspired with Chelsea Manning, a former army intelligence analyst, who spent seven years in prison for leaking material to WikiLeaks. She was freed when U.S. President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.

The charges sparked outrage, with Assange’s supporters arguing that, as the publisher and editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, he should not have faced charges usually used against government employees who steal or leak information.

Press freedom advocates, meanwhile, argued that criminally charging Assange was a threat to free speech.

“WikiLeaks published groundbreaking stories of government corruption and human rights abuses, holding the powerful accountable for their actions,” Wikileaks said in its statement announcing the plea deal.

“As editor-in-chief, Julian paid severely for these principles, and for the people’s right to know. As he returns to Australia, we thank all who stood by us, fought for us, and remained utterly committed in the fight for his freedom.”