Julian Assange had founded the infamous WikiLeaks in 2006 and gained attention when they posted confidential information provided by Chelsea Manning.
Information that got leaked included the Collateral Murder video, Afghanistan war and Iraq war logs. Following the 2010 leaks, the federal government launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks and asked allied nations for assistance and November of the same year, Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for Assange.
He had been questioned there months earlier over allegations of sexual assault and rape and though he denied those charges allegations, and expressed concern that he would be extradited from Sweden to the United States because of his perceived role in publishing secret documents and finally surrendered himself to UK police on 7 December 2010, before being released on bail.
He was granted asylum and remained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London since then. Initially treated as a welcome guest in the embassy his relations with Ecuadorian officials have become strained over time and he has often complained of his living conditions. He and his supporters have periodically said US authorities had filed secret cases against him and there are more than many reasons for which he must stay in the embassy.
Recently Julian Assange had been charged under seal with unspecified offences in the US and reports state that prosecutors may have accidentally revealed his identity in an unintentional court filing.
Federal prosecutors had hoped to keep the indictment prepared against Mr Assange a secret “due to the sophistication of the defendant, and the publicity surrounding the case”, and so that Mr Assange would “no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter”.
Wikileaks stated on social media that the US Justice Department had “accidentally revealed existence of sealed charges (or draft of them) against [Mr Assange] in apparent cut-and-paste error” The document that reveals the charges, which prosecutors say was filed by mistake, asks a judge to seal documents in a criminal case unrelated to Mr Assange, and carries markings indicating it was originally filed in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia in August.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters news agency the document was initially sealed but unsealed this week for reasons that are unclear at the moment. And Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the prosecutors’ office which filed the document that was unsealed, told the Reuters news agency: “The court filing was made in error. That was not the intended name for this filing.” According to the document, any 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”.
It adds: “The complaint, supporting affidavit, and arrest warrant, as well as this motion and the proposed order, would need to 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.”
Federal Investigators in Alexandria have been conducting lengthy criminal investigations into the founder and foundations of Wikileaks, the Assistant US Attorney have acknowledged their reports and said that what Mr Dwyer was disclosing was true and unintentional.
Current Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, has publicly called for Mr Assange and Wikileaks to be aggressively prosecuted over the 2010 release of classified diplomatic cables.
Investigations have reopened and debate ensues on whether charges should be brought for the 2010 leak since Donald Trump came to power.
Before the 2016 election, special counsel Robert Muller had established whether WikiLeaks’ was responsible for publishing emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s then-campaign chairman, John Podesta. It was widely stated that Russian spies may have hacked those emails and sent them to WikiLeaks.
Featured Image: New York Post