Washington, Nov 16 (IECurrentAffairs) The WikiLeaks whistleblowing website said on Friday the US authorities had charged its founder Julian Assange or had drafted an indictment against him.
On Thursday, US media reported that the US Justice Department had been preparing to prosecute Assange, living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and had been confident it would be able to have him extradited to the United States. Assange’s lawyer Carlos Poveda subsequently told Sputnik he believed Ecuador had a plan to extradite the WikiLeaks founder on a basis of a deal it had reached with the United Kingdom and the United States.
“US Department of Justice ‘accidentally’ reveals existence of sealed charges (or a draft for them) against WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange in apparent cut-and-paste error in an unrelated case also at the Eastern District of Virginia,” WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter.
The platform attached to its post the filing of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in the unrelated case where the government requested its complaint and supporting documents be sealed, reports Sputnik.
“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,” the document, filed by Assistant United States Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer on August 22, read.
The filing added that the government complaint and supporting documents should remain sealed until “Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter.”
Assange has been residing in the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom since 2012 and has repeatedly said he feared he might be extradited to the United States where he could face charges over leaking thousands of classified documents.