Wikileaks - Julian Assange Discussion

angelburst29

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Sweden reopened an investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday and will seek to extradite him from Britain, a potential setback to efforts by the United States to put him on trial over a huge release of secret documents.

Wikileaks said the reopening of the Swedish investigation would give Assange a chance to clear his name.

Sweden wants to extradite Assange over rape allegation, complicating U.S. effort to try him for conspiracy
FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves Southwark Crown Court after being sentenced in London, Britain, May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson told a news conference in Stockholm she would continue a preliminary investigation that was dropped in 2017 without charges being brought after Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Assange, who denies the accusation, was arrested in Britain last month after spending seven years hiding inside the embassy.

The Swedish prosecutor said she would request Assange be detained in his absence on probable cause for an allegation of rape and that
her office would issue a European arrest warrant - the start of the extradition process.

The United States is also seeking to extradite him on conspiracy charges relating to the public release by Wikileaks of a cache of secret documents, including assessments of foreign leaders, wars and security matters.

The British courts will have to rule on the two extradition requests, with Home Secretary Sajid Javid having the final say on which one takes precedence.

“I am well aware of the fact that an extradition process is ongoing in the UK and that he could be extradited to the US,” Persson said.

The 47-year-old Assange is currently in a London prison serving 50 weeks behind bars for jumping bail when he fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in 2012.

A British judge has given the U.S. government a deadline of June 12 to outline its case against Assange.

The statute of limitation for rape in Sweden is 10 years - a deadline which would be reached in mid-August next year for that alleged incident, leaving prosecutors pressed for time should they decide to file any formal charge.

“Everything depends on how this will be handled by the British authorities and courts,” said Mark Klamberg, a professor of international law at Stockholm University.

“There is a possibility, or risk depending on how you see it, that this is going to take a long time,” he said.

If Assange was taken to the United Sattes, this would likely rule out his facing trial in Sweden due to the statute of limitation.

Persson said she would request to interview Assange while he was in British custody, but that this would require the consent of the Australian, who fought unsuccessfully through the British courts to avoid extradition before fleeing to the embassy.

A lawyer representing the victim in the rape investigation urged Swedish prosecutors to move quickly.

“We are not going to give up until a charge is brought and the case goes to court,” lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz told a news conference.

“My client feels great gratitude and she is very hopeful of getting restitution and we both hope that justice will win.”

Assange’s supporters cast him as a dissident facing the wrath of a superpower over one of the largest compromises of classified information in U.S. history.

CLEAR NAME
Wikileaks said the reopening of the Swedish investigation would give Assange a chance to clear his name.

“Since Julian Assange was arrested on 11 April 2019, there has been considerable political pressure on Sweden to reopen their investigation, but there has always been political pressure surrounding this case,” Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, said in a statement.

If convicted in Sweden, Assange could face a prison sentence of up to four years.

“His attitude is that he is happy to cooperate with Sweden and that he wants to be interviewed and that he wants to clear his name,” Per Samuelson, a Swedish lawyer for Assange, told Reuters.

“How that will happen now, I don’t know. He has his hands full with, for him, much more important issues, namely avoiding being extradited to the U.S.”

Nick Vamos, lawyer at London-based firm Peters & Peters and former head of extradition at Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, told Reuters before Monday’s decision that he expected a Swedish request would take supremacy.

“In the event of a conflict between a European Arrest Warrant and a request for extradition from the US, UK authorities will decide on the order of priority,” a Swedish prosecutor’s statement said.

WikiLeaks says Swedish investigation gives Assange a chance to clear his name
The reopening of a Swedish investigation into a rape allegation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will give him a chance to clear his name, WikiLeaks said on Monday.
 

angelburst29

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The Ecuadorian government will pass to Washington documents of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that are currently kept in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was residing from 2012 and until his arrest in April, according to El Pais newspaper.

Ecuador to Provide US with Assange's Documents, His Personal Devices
Ecuador to Provide US with Assange's Documents, His Personal Devices

Ecuador will also provide Washington with Assange's mobile phones, computers, memory cards and other data storage devices following a search in the room where he used to reside, Spanish media reported on Sunday, citing an official notice for Assange's lawyer.

The search is expected to take place on May 20.

It was the Office of Attorney General of Ecuador that briefed Assange's Ecuadorian lawyer Carlos Poveda on the decision to pass to the US Assange's belongings.

This comes after Assange was arrested in the UK capital on April 11, after Ecuador revoked his asylum status. He was then sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for jumping his bail back in 2012, when he took refuge inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault investigation that has since been dropped. The United States is seeking Assange's extradition on charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.

The United States has to provide London with all necessary documents for Assange's extradition until June 12.

Assange's lawyers and supporters fear that he could be charged under the Espionage Act in the United States and face death penalty.
 

Gawan

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Now another bad turn happened and the USA charges Assange with espionage.

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks leader, has been indicted on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act for his role in obtaining and publishing secret military and diplomatic documents in 2010, the Justice Department announced on Thursday - a novel case that raises profound First Amendment issues.

That means that freedom of speech is not only dead but also got buried today. One result among others will that more and more people/journalists get afraid of telling the truth. Even more important that Sott stays alive in these dark hours.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Since 2012, an increasingly smug cabal of western liberals have peddled the myth that Julian Assange should have voluntarily walked out of the Ecuadorian Embassy that had previously served as his asylum from prosecution. The mythical narrative stated that those fearing that the US would seek to convict Assange under the Espionage Act and sentence him to either a lifetime in prison or to death, were merely conspiracy theorists.

Everything Julian Assange’s Defenders Said Turned Out to be True
Everything Julian Assange's Defenders Said Turned Out to be True - Eurasia Future
In reality, the narrative alleging that “Assange is to blame for his woes” was always the true conspiracy. It defied not only logic but went against the grain of events on the ground which witnessed the UK spending thousands on turning the Ecuadorian Embassy in London into a makeshift prison whilst influential US politicians up to and including Hillary Clinton spoke openly about their desire to kill Assange, even if done through extrajudicial means.

Now however, that which Assange’s defenders and supporters knew for years is there in black and white for all to see. For the first time in history, a publisher (who did not even publish from the US) is being charged under the notorious Espionage Act by the US Department of Justice. Even legal experts who are on the record condemning Assange have raised their concerns that such an indictment effectively nullifies key elements of the First Amendment of the US Constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and of association.

The notion that Assange was ever anything but a political prisoner is now not only an insult to common sense, but such an assertion demonstrates an aversion from admitting objective truths among those who once proffered such deceptive nonsense.

In order to destroy Julian Assange, the US judicial system is willing to run the precious First Amendment through the military-industrial paper shredder and soon it will be a slippery slope for anyone else who believed that their peaceful activities were protected by the First Amendment.

Today it is Julian Assange in the iron grip of a lawless penal system and the next day, the US might adopt the draconian and anti-freedom “hate speech” laws that have risen to prominence in places like India and even the European Union. Today it is Assange being persecuted for publishing truthful information that embarrassed major world governments. Tomorrow one might well face treatment akin to that confronting Assange for simply expressing an opinion that the authorities find distasteful. In typical Orwellian fashion, such speech will be labelled “hateful” and one might find him or herself on the road to Assange style oblivion. If this happens, the First Amendment will be well and truly dead.

For those who remain unconvinced by the slippery slope argument, one should recall that in 1971 the New York Times published Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers. The New York Times was protected a publisher although Ellsberg was tried under the Espionage Act. However, charges against Ellsberg were ultimately dismissed owning in part to gross misconduct on the part of government authorities.

Several years after the publication of the Pentagon Papers, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s investigative reports on the Watergate scandal were published in the Washington Post. Woodward and Bernstein subsequently won multiple media awards as did the Washington Post. Both men are considered journalistic legends and the Washington Post ended up increasing its public reputation as a result of its role in shedding light on Watergate.

In hindsight, the early 1970s now appears to be a golden era for investigative journalism, the publishing of leaked material in the public interest and whistle-blowing. By contrast, the 21st century has seen whistle blower Chelsea Manning thrice imprisoned for her activities which were very much relevant to the public good. Whistle blower and leaker Edward Snowden is currently in exile for exposing the nefarious activities of the NSA and publisher Julian Assange now finds himself facing a life behind bars or execution because he published multiple truthful and publicly beneficial reports on multiple scandals across governments, state bodies and armed forces throughout the world.

The legal precedents that separate a publisher from an informant have been cast to the wind and now Julian Assange faces an unprecedented trial by fire. But it is more than just Assange that is set to be on trial. The very concept of free speech is also on trial. If Assange falls, everyone who has ever benefited from the right to free speech will also have fallen.
U.S. charges WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with espionage
The U.S. Justice Department unveiled 17 new criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information.

Assange was initially charged with conspiring with Manning to gain access to a government computer as part of a 2010 leak by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of U.S. military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He now faces a total of 18 criminal counts, and could face many decades in prison if convicted.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I pray Assange hasn't given up hope - his physical condition doesn't sound good - mentally, he must be going through HELL!

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was too ill on Thursday to appear via video link from a British prison in a hearing on an extradition request from the United States, his lawyer said.

WikiLeaks' Assange too ill to appear via video link in U.S. extradition hearing

The United States is seeking the extradition of Assange, 47, who was dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London on April 11. He faces a total of 18 U.S. criminal counts and decades in prison if convicted.

“He’s in fact far from well,” Assange’s lawyer, Gareth Peirce told Westminster Magistrates’ Court. She earlier told Reuters he was too ill to attend the hearing by videolink. Judge Emma Arbuthnot, who was presiding over the case, added: “He’s not very well.”

WikiLeaks said it had grave concerns about Assange’s health and that he had been moved to a health ward at London’s Belmarsh high-security prison.

"During the seven weeks in Belmarsh his health has continued to deteriorate and he has dramatically lost weight," it added in a statement. “The decision of prison authorities to move him to the health ward speaks for itself.”

Britain’s Ministry of Justice said it could not comment on individual prisoners. However, a government source said that although Assange was on the prison’s health wing, he was eating normally and was receiving the same diet as other inmates.

The next hearing on the extradition request was set for June 12.
 

NormaRegula

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I don't trust the UK Government - or any government for that matter - to make sure Assange gets well. This is very disconcerting, but then so are world events. Laura said it best that Darkness falls. I pray and hope for the best as Assange and Wikileaks has brought forth some powerful truths about TPTB. I know Killary wants him taken out and has said so.
 

herondancer

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I don't trust the UK Government - or any government for that matter - to make sure Assange gets well. This is very disconcerting, but then so are world events. Laura said it best that Darkness falls. I pray and hope for the best as Assange and Wikileaks has brought forth some powerful truths about TPTB. I know Killary wants him taken out and has said so.
There's been more than a little speculation around the net that he is being "Milosovic'ed", i.e. being held long enough to die before being put on trial, where a lot of messy information could come out. Milosovic was posthumously cleared of the charges brought against him in the Hague, but the lack of a proper trial meant embarrassing information about NATO's conduct never came to light.

A dangerous game if that's what the Deep State is playing, imaking Assange a martyr. It could really backfire on them.

 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
There's been more than a little speculation around the net that he is being "Milosovic'ed", i.e. being held long enough to die before being put on trial, where a lot of messy information could come out.
I don't trust the UK Government - ...
Something feels very wrong here? The fact that he has been moved to a "health wing" and I'm assuming, an isolated private room - they could do anything to him? And if he dies - cremate him - without notice to family or outside authorities. Assange might have had protection in the Embassy but now he's in U.K."s hands (M-16 and the intelligence agencies that work closely with Mossad). Plus, we don't know what (classified) information Assange might have on London and it's secret activities?

"During the seven weeks in Belmarsh his health has continued to deteriorate and he has dramatically lost weight," it added in a statement. “The decision of prison authorities to move him to the health ward speaks for itself.”

.... although Assange was in the prison's health wing, he was eating normally and was receiving the same diet as other inmates.
Of added concern, Manning was ordered back to jail on May 16 and there have been no media reports on Manning since that time?

Judge orders former U.S. soldier and WikiLeaks source Manning back to jail

Trump is also slated to be in the U.K. - June 3-5, for a working state visit and the US is trying to extradite Assange - so I don't know if Trump will address that issue with U.K. authorities?

Factbox: Donald Trump's schedule in the United Kingdom, Ireland and France
U.S. President Donald Trump makes a state visit to the United Kingdom on June 3-5 before a trip to Ireland and then takes part in the 75th anniversary commemorations of the D-Day landings in France.

Assange suffering psychological torture, would face "show trial" in U.S.: U.N. expert
Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture talks with Reuters, after visiting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange earlier this month in London's Belmarsh high-security prison, in Geneva, Switzerland May 31, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has suffered psychological torture from a defamation campaign and should not be extradited to the United States where he would face a "politicized show trial", a U.N. human rights investigator said on Friday.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thank God, Russia is inquiring on the matter - "Moscow will be expecting official comments"

Diplomat stresses reports on Assange psychological torture symptoms need clarification
The reports stating that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was subjected to psychological torture in Great Britain needs clarifying, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her official Facebook page.

Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture, said that WikiLeaks founder Assange is showing symptoms of having been exposed to psychological torture for a number of years in the United Kingdom in a commentary with The Times newspaper published on Friday.

“That’s really something. Look at what the freedom fighters and human rights activists are actually doing. We are waiting for official explanations from the [United] Kingdom,” she concluded.
 

herondancer

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Given this tweet, I don't think Julian was surprised at any time in the course of events. He had to be ready to respond, but he already knew the general game plan. Still he and his lawyers are facing a juggernaut.

This tweet was one or two down on Melzer's thread:

(image of tweet below)

The link referenced in the tweet The Global Intelligence Files - Re: Discussion- Assange Arrested

30397

Politico seems to think eventually he will only be charged with 'hacking', that is coaching Manning on how to conceal him/herself while trying to access some files. And that isn't even really hacking.


06/02/2019 06:53
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not face charges for publishing Vault 7, a series of documents detailing the CIA’s arsenal of digital code used to hack devices.

The decision surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to go after the WikiLeaks founder on Espionage Act charges.

The Justice Department has decided not to charge Julian Assange for his role in exposing some of the CIA’s most secret spying tools, according to a U.S. official and two other people familiar with the case.

It’s a move that has surprised national security experts and some former officials, given prosecutors’ recent decision to aggressively go after the WikiLeaks founder on more controversial Espionage Act charges that some legal experts said would not hold up in court. The decision also means that Assange will not face punishment for publishing one of the CIA’s most potent arsenals of digital code used to hack devices, dubbed Vault 7. The leak — one of the most devastating in CIA history — not only essentially rendered those tools useless for the CIA, it gave foreign spies and rogue hackers access to them.

Prosecutors were stymied by several factors.

First, the government is facing a ticking clock in its efforts to extradite Assange to the United States from the United Kingdom, where he is being held. Extradition laws require the U.S. to bring any additional charges against Assange within 60 days of the first indictment, which prosecutors filed in March, accusing Assange of helping former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning hack into military computers.
Second, prosecutors were worried about the sensitivity of the Vault 7 materials, according to an official familiar with the deliberations over whether to charge Assange. Broaching such a classified subject in court risks exposing even more CIA secrets, legal experts said. The CIA has never officially confirmed the authenticity of the leaked documents, even though analysts widely believe them to be authentic.

“There is no question that there are leak cases that can’t be prosecuted against the leaker or the leakee because the information is so sensitive that, for your proof at trial, you would have to confirm it is authentic,” said Mary McCord, who was acting assistant attorney general for national security at the Justice Department until 2017. “So the irony, often, is that the higher the classification of the leaked material, the harder it is to prosecute.”

So instead, the Justice Department will go after Assange on the one count for allegedly assisting Manning and the 17-count Espionage Act indictment. There are no plans to bring any additional indictments prior to his extradition.

While the Manning leak indictment was an expected move, the Espionage Act charges startled the legal community as a potential precedent-setting action. Traditionally, the law has been used to punish government officials who reveal classified information, not the journalists or foreign nationals who publish the information. Press freedom activists immediately warned that the case could criminalize everyday journalistic behavior, such as soliciting sensitive information from government sources.

Federal officials insist they have a strong case, arguing that Assange is not a journalist and intentionally published the names of confidential sources in war zones over the objections of national security officials.

“There is a comfort level within the national security establishment of where the charges ended up,” the U.S. national security official told POLITICO.

Still, just several months ago, numerous experts felt confident that prosecutors would also hit Assange with charges over Vault 7. Prominent national security journalist Marcy Wheeler predicted in February that DOJ would “very clearly go after Assange” for the Vault 7 disclosure, and that a sealed indictment against him in the Eastern District of Virginia was likely related to that leak — the CIA is, after all, headquartered in Virginia, as ABC noted. Assange himself reportedly expressed concern that prosecutors would charge him with crimes related to Vault 7.

DOJ has charged one person in the Vault 7 theft. A former CIA employee, Joshua Schulte, was indicted for transmitting the Vault 7 documents to WikiLeaks. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is set for November. In April, prosecutors in his case asked the judge to keep the search warrants confidential because disseminating them could “impede ongoing investigations,” prompting more speculation over potential charges against Assange.

“Going after Assange for the Vault 7 leak would seem to involve more serious misconduct and have fewer” press freedom implications, said Carl Tobias, the Williams Professor of Law at the University of Richmond Law School in Virginia. He noted that authorities have mechanisms, like redaction and judge reviews, to protect sensitive information.

But prosecutors have not accused Assange of coaxing Schulte to release the CIA tools, as they allege Assange did with Manning. According to court documents, Assange asked Manning for specific classified documents and advised her on how to hack into a government computer.

Manning is in jail over her refusal to testify before a grand jury in the Assange case. Her lawyers have argued that if the Justice Department does not intend to bring further charges against Assange, the previous need for her testimony should be rendered moot.

“If indeed the government has concluded their investigation, then there is no further need to coerce her compliance with the grand jury, and thus, there can be no legitimate ongoing reason to hold her in contempt,” Moira Meltzer-Cohen, an attorney for Manning, told POLITICO. “If the investigation has ended, then Chelsea must be released."

WikiLeaks began releasing the Vault 7 documents in April 2017, prompting then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo to slam the organization as a “hostile intelligence service.”

The exposed documents describe how the CIA’s secretive Center for Cyber Intelligence developed malware, viruses and weaponized “zero-day” exploits, or flaws in technology like smartphones and internet-connected TVs that are not yet known to the manufacturer.

Legally, the CIA can use these cyber weapons only against foreign targets, not against U.S. citizens. But WikiLeaks said at the time that it was given the documents by a former U.S. government hacker or contractor concerned about “whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers.”

Assange’s release of the Vault 7 tools jeopardized a potential immunity deal that law enforcement officials had been weighing for him in early 2017 in exchange for his testimony about WikiLeaks’ ties to Russian intelligence officers, according to The New York Times.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
A court in Sweden on Monday rejected a request from prosecutors that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be detained in absentia, complicating the process of having the Australian citizen extradited to Sweden for questioning over an allegation of rape.

Swedish court rejects Assange detention request over rape allegation
FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures during a news conference at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London August 18, 2014. REUTERS/John Stillwell/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures during a news conference at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London August 18, 2014. REUTERS/John Stillwell/File Photo

The ruling was read out by the judge in the case at the local court in Uppsala, north of the capital Stockholm. On May 13, Sweden reopened an investigation into the rape allegation against Assange, which he denies.

Jun 03 2019 - Report: Assange Won't Be Charged over CIA Leak
Report: Assange Won't Be Charged over CIA Leak

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is not expected to face charges over leaking classified documents belonging to the CIA, according to a report.

Assange has to be charged within 60 days of his first indictment, which was filed in March, according to a report by Politico on Sunday.

Federal prosecutors have accused Assange of publishing the documents, known as “Vault 7”, as well as helping whistleblower Chelsea Manning access military computers.
 

genero81

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“The criminalization and crack down on national security journalism is spreading like a virus,” WikiLeaks tweeted today in response to the ABC raid. “The Assange precedent is already having effect. Journalists must unite and remember that courage is also contagious.”
“The arrest and espionage charges against Assange was just the beginning, as many in the media, even those who hate Assange, feared,” tweeted Consortium News editor-in-chief Joe Lauria in response to the News Corp raid. “The home of a mainstream Australian journalist was raided Wed. morning by police because of a story she worked on.”
“Shameful news from Australia as the police raid journalists’ offices and homes,” tweeted legendary Australian journalist John Pilger. “One warrant allows them to ‘add, copy, delete or alter’ computer files at the ABC. The assault on Julian Assange was a clear warning to all of us: it was only the beginning.”


 
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