Supporters celebrated the verdict outside the courthouse in central London. Assange would have faced up to 175 years in prison if convicted of violating the US Espionage Act.

In 2010, he released thousands of classified US military files online. The Australian was first arrested in Britain ten years ago, and sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years.

His lawyers have consistently argued that Assange was acting as a journalist and is entitled to freedom of speech protections.