Live: Julian Assange’s plane lands in Thailand ahead of court hearing in Saipan

Saipan residents were shocked to hear the news of Julian Assange’s imminent arrival on their island, said local journalist Thomas Manglona of KUAM News.

“No one saw this coming here to Saipan,” Manglona told ABC News.

“This is sure to be one for the history books.”

The small Pacific island is a US territory and is home to a US federal court where a decision on Assange’s guilty plea will be made after his hearing begins at 9am local time.

“According to some court documents that we were able to obtain, Julian Assange did not want to go to the continental United States to plead guilty as part of that plea deal,” Manglona said.

“In addition, this US court is the closest to Australia, where he is expected to return immediately after the court process.

Much of the island’s population, of just over 40,000, knows Assange’s story, Manglona said.

“Everyone I’ve talked to so far has told me they’re going to try to get into the courtroom tomorrow to see how this story plays out and we’ll see if that plea deal really solidifies as expected.”

Watch the full interview below.


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