Published: Fri, November 16, 2018

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange charged in USA, court document accidentally reveals

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange charged in USA, court document accidentally reveals

It read, "Another procedure short of sealing will not adequately protect the needs of law enforcement at this time because, due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged".

But Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the prosecutors' office that filed the document that was unsealed, admitted the court filing was an "error". Investigators also had explored whether WikiLeaks could face criminal liability for the more recent revelation of sensitive Central Intelligence Agency cyber-tools.

But the charging of Assange in the United States could have implications for special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether Donald Trump's election campaign team colluded with Russian Federation to influence the 2016 presidential vote, and whether Trump tried to obstruct the probe into that.

But he was detained in part, according to the court filing, because he "has a substantial interest in terrorist acts".

The court filing, written by assistant USA attorney Kellen Dwyer, did not specify the nature of any charges against Assange. Last year, the US Justice Department was reportedly considering filing criminal charges against WikiLeaks and Assange in connection with the 2010 leak of diplomatic cables and military documents.

Prosecuting someone for publishing truthful information would set a awful and unsafe precedent. It was submitted to the federal court in the eastern district of Virginia, which handles many cases involving national security. Seitu Sulayman Kokayi, 29, was charged with enticing a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him and send him pornographic images of herself.


The case had been sealed until early September, though by itself it attracted little notice.

WikiLeaks said on Twitter that the filing "reveals existence of sealed charges (or a draft for them) against WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange".

Pollack said he did not know if Assange has been charged. Since June 2012, Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy, afraid that if he steps outside he will be arrested.

Julian Assange, a major target of the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election, has been criminally charged in secret, an apparent mistake in a court filing has indicated.

Assange, 47, has resided in the Ecuadorian Embassy for more than six years in a bid to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he was wanted over sex crimes, or to the United States, whose government he has repeatedly humbled with mass disclosures of classified information.

But British police have said they still intend to arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy because he broke his conditions for bail by taking refuge there.

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