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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appears on screen via video link during his participation as a guest panelist in an International Seminar on the 60th anniversary of the college of Journalists of Chile in Santiago, Chile, July 12, 2016

    WikiLeaks’ Assange Stands by US Extradition Offer as Manning's Sentence Commuted

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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a press conference on Thursday he stands by his decision to return to the United States after outgoing President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentence of whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year prison sentence. Manning had admitted disclosing classified US government information to WikiLeaks concerning civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes and 250,000 US diplomatic letters.

    Assange said he looks forward to having a conversation with the US Justice Department regarding his return to the United States if they drop the case against WikiLeaks and its publishers, unseal any extradition requests and charges.

    "I stand by everything I said, including the offer to go to the United States if Chelsea Manning’s sentence was commuted," Assange stated on Thursday. "It’s not going to be commuted until May; we can have many discussions to that point."

    The WikiLeaks founder also said a return to the United States is possible as long as the US government ensures his are protected.

    Assange added he is confident of winning any case in the United States if the law is respected because WikiLeaks is a publisher whose activities are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

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    extradition, commutation, Chelsea Manning, Barack Obama, Julian Assange, United States
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