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posted by martyb on Thursday January 24 2019, @05:40AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the you-looking-at-ME? dept.

U.S. ramping up probe against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks says

American federal prosecutors have been pressing witnesses in the U.S. and abroad to testify against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, WikiLeaks says, offering further evidence that the Justice Department is building a criminal case against the man who leaked Democratic emails hacked by the Russians in the 2016 election.

In a new submission to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, based in Washington, WikiLeaks is urging the Justice Department to unseal the charges that appear to have been secretly filed against Assange in the Eastern District of Virginia. A mistake in a Justice Department court filing in November inadvertently suggested the existence of those charges.

Previously: Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange


Original Submission

Related Stories

Julian Assange Charged with U.S. Espionage Act Violations 47 comments

Assange Indicted Under Espionage Act, Raising First Amendment Issues

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

The new charges were part of a superseding indictment obtained by the Trump administration that significantly expanded the legal case against Mr. Assange, who is already fighting extradition proceedings in London based on an earlier hacking-related count brought by federal prosecutors in Northern Virginia.

[...] On its face, the Espionage Act could also be used to prosecute reporters who publish government secrets. But many legal scholars believe that prosecuting people for acts related to receiving and publishing information would violate the First Amendment.

That notion has never been tested in court, however, because until now the government has never brought such charges. The closest it came was indicting two lobbyists for a pro-Israel group in 2005 who received classified information about American policy toward Iran and passed it on. But that case fell apart after several skeptical pretrial rulings by a judge, and the charges were dropped.

Though he is not a conventional journalist, much of what Mr. Assange does at WikiLeaks is difficult to distinguish in a legally meaningful way from what traditional news organizations like The New York Times do: seek and publish information that officials want to be secret, including classified national security matters, and take steps to protect the confidentiality of sources.

Julian Assange Sentenced to 50 Weeks in Prison for Bail Breach 30 comments

Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956

Judge blasts Assange for jumping bail, sentences him to almost one year

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for fleeing to the Ecuadorian embassy in London while on bail in 2012. At the time, he was facing possible extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.

Assange remained in the embassy until last month, when he was evicted by his Ecuadorian hosts and re-arrested by British authorities.

Wednesday's sentencing is unlikely to be the end of Assange's legal problems. Shortly after he was re-arrested last month, US authorities unsealed an indictment charging him with conspiring with Chelsea Manning to crack a hashed password belonging to a Pentagon computer in 2010. At the time, Manning was an Army private leaking confidential military documents to WikiLeaks. Assange was unable to learn the password, but the US argues that his attempt is sufficient to charge him with conspiracy.

In a letter to the court, Assange argued that he had fled to the embassy out of fear that he'd be extradited to the United States and wind up being held indefinitely at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Also at BBC, The Guardian, CNET, and The Register.

Previously: Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange
U.S. Ramping Up Probe Against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Says
Ecuador Denies That Julian Assange Will be Evicted From Embassy in London
Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London
Julian Assange Associate Arrested In Ecuador


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

Breaking News: Wikileaks Co-Founder Julian Assange Arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London 243 comments

Breaking: Met police confirm that Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy.

Mr Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.

The Met Police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court.

Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno said it withdrew Mr Assange's asylum after his repeated violations to international conventions.

But WikiLeaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange's political asylum "in violation of international law".

[...] Scotland Yard said it was invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum.

After his arrest for failing to surrender to the court, police said he had been further arrested on behalf of US authorities under an extradition warrant.

He doesn't look happy, to say the least.

Update: As this is a breaking story, more information is coming out regularly - one source that updates their reports frequently is Zero Hedge - thanks boru!

Previously: New Analysis of Swedish Police Report Confirms Julian Assange's Version in Sweden's Case
Ecuador Reportedly Almost Ready to Hand Julian Assange Over to UK Authorities
UK Said Assange Would Not be Extradited If He Leaves Embassy Refuge
Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange
U.S. Ramping Up Probe Against Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Says
Ecuador Denies That Julian Assange Will be Evicted From Embassy in London


Original Submission

Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange 94 comments

Inadvertent Court Filing Suggests that the U.S. DoJ is Preparing to Indict Julian Assange

Prosecutors Have Prepared Indictment of Julian Assange, a Filing Reveals

The Justice Department has prepared an indictment against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, marking a drastic escalation of the government's yearslong battle with him and his anti-secrecy group. It was not clear if prosecutors have filed charges against Mr. Assange. The indictment came to light late Thursday through an unrelated court filing in which prosecutors inadvertently mentioned charges against him. "The court filing was made in error," said Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the United States attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia. "That was not the intended name for this filing."

[...] Seamus Hughes, a terrorism expert at George Washington University who closely tracks court cases, uncovered the filing and posted it on Twitter.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to say on Thursday what led to the inadvertent disclosure. It was made in a recently unsealed filing in an apparently unrelated sex-crimes case charging a man named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi with coercing and enticing an underage person to engage in unlawful sexual activity. Mr. Kokayi was charged in early August, and on Aug. 22, prosecutors filed a three-page document laying out boilerplate arguments for why his case at that time needed to remain sealed.

While the filing started out referencing Mr. Kokayi, federal prosecutors abruptly switched on its second page to discussing the fact that someone named "Assange" had been secretly indicted, and went on to make clear that this person was the subject of significant publicity, lived abroad and would need to be extradited — suggesting that prosecutors had inadvertently pasted text from a similar court filing into the wrong document and then filed it.

"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," prosecutors wrote. They added, "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."

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  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:24AM (2 children)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:24AM (#791085) Journal

    Clearly Killary would have simultaneously bombed a major metropolitan area, Ecucador, and our closest ally England to drone strike Assange by now so this is all fine.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:45AM (1 child)

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:45AM (#791102) Homepage Journal

      Crooked H. wanted to Drone him, that's so true. And who knows, maybe she would have used her nuclear there. He said "Podesta gave out that his password was the word 'password'......a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta" -- why was DNC so careless? Doesn't matter, they lost overwhelmingly. Except for the 3 to 5 million Fraud Votes.

      Julian is always welcome at the White House. And so are the boys from, and of, Covington Catholic High School. One of whom said something very smart. Very grown up. He said, "it's not rape if you enjoy it." That's so true. And I think Julian can relate to that one. Come visit me, Julian. I think we're going to serve McDonald's, Wendy's, & Burger King, with some pizza. I would think that's your favorite food. Much better than the food in England!!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @07:16PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @07:16PM (#791387)

        TSA and ATC walkout for SuperBowl weekend.

  • (Score: 0, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:30AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:30AM (#791088)

    O tempura... (o sushi).

    So it has come to this:

    The ethics of growing a beard [soylentnews.org] is "Politics"

    while

    Julian Assange physically locked into a building is "Digital" liberty.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:34AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:34AM (#791093)

      Submitted by none other than the recently accused So Oy Voy Takyon.

      Yup, this site is inhabited by the best people, very smart, they have the best words.

    • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by takyon on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:48AM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:48AM (#791103) Journal

      Julian Assange physically locked into a building is "Digital" liberty.

      Somehow, I don't think the U.S. wants to charge Assange with skipping bail.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @07:18AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @07:18AM (#791117)

        "U.S. wants to charge Assange with skipping bail" or not is clearly "digital", yes.
        Because if it is not binary, neither hexdecimal nor even octal, it must be digital.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @09:14AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @09:14AM (#791151)

          The prostate exams I get are digital. Maybe that's what the US wants to do to Assangel?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:33AM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @06:33AM (#791091)

    Only it isn't the Russkis, it's the swine who are in power in the US.

    I'm a US citizen. My country is a mess that is overflowing with evil at the highest levels of its government, and it sickens me.

    Honestly, stuff like secret charges smacks of EXACTLY the sort of stuff we were told was done in countries like the USSR, back when we were all supposed to believe the Soviets were the evil ones.

    Increasingly it looks like the good old USA is the most evil country in the world. We send troops all over the world to protect US corporate interests ( don't try to
    feed me any bullshit about needing to fight against Islam, I know better ) and here at home in the US we are tracked and monitored exactly as we would be if we lived in a totalitarian state. Oddly enough ALL this stuff has gone on whether Obama was president or Trump was president. Why is that ? Because the president is just a figurehead and the real power is held by people whose names won't be seen in the news.

    It's hard to know who the real terrorists even are. The US kills innocent people with drone strikes. The "enemy" kills innocent people with suicide bombs. Frankly I think the only real difference between the two sides is that one side is better funded and has access to weapons which use much more advanced technology. But I lived through Viet Nam and I know that technology won't win a war when the other side is committed like the Vietnamese were or the Afghans are.

    Where is this all leading ? Supposedly the "good guys" won WWII. But having observed the behavior of the "good guys" over the past half century, I don't believe the good guys are good at all. The US has become the evil empire of the world. It's god damned depressing to be a citizen in a country which conducts itself in such a shameful manner.

    And now the US wants to go after Assange, long after any damage Assange MAY have done has had whatever effect it is going to have. Why are they going after Assange ? To make sure EVERYONE ELSE knows that if you try to expose the truth, you will pay dearly.

    America, home of the brave and land of the free ? Bullshit. The mere pretense that the US is free is enough to make me and anyone else who is paying attention puke.

    Any of you idiots who want to call me "un-American" can go fuck yourselves. I know how things really are and if you don't that doesn't mean you know better, it means you're just an ignorant stupid schmuck, like most Americans are. So shut the fuck up and go watch your TV or play your video games, you fucking sheep.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by exaeta on Thursday January 24 2019, @07:44AM (1 child)

      by exaeta (6957) on Thursday January 24 2019, @07:44AM (#791128) Homepage Journal

      Who are these heads of state whose names thou shalt not speak. He who must not be named? Waiting, you can post anonymous. And go ahead and use tor while you're at it.

      Is it Voldemort running the USA? Let me know.

      --
      The Government is a Bird
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Freeman on Thursday January 24 2019, @05:58PM

        by Freeman (732) on Thursday January 24 2019, @05:58PM (#791328) Journal

        Obviously, you saw the wrong movie or read the wrong book. Mystique is the current president.

        --
        Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by looorg on Thursday January 24 2019, @08:15AM (3 children)

      by looorg (578) on Thursday January 24 2019, @08:15AM (#791136)

      If this was soviet-style they would just disappear him during the night and then erase him from the books, as bad as one might imagine it to be it's not really quite there just yet.

      That said it does appear like somewhat of a slip up if you are building a secret case and then sort just happen to submit the paperwork wrong, either that or there is some clerk that just really fucked up (but are they not all supposed to be on unpaid leave at the moment due to the whole wall-budget-thingy?).

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @09:08AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @09:08AM (#791148)

        Why do they need a secret court and secret case? Because obviously what they are doing is not sun shine proof. Shady shit, population would revolt and other nations would crucify them.

        This is just as bad as the soviet mock trials. One could even argue this is worse.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @04:29PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @04:29PM (#791278)

        "If this was soviet-style they would just disappear him during the night"

        -

        WRONG.

        This is how the Soviets do it :

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_of_Alexander_Litvinenko [wikipedia.org]

        • (Score: 2) by looorg on Thursday January 24 2019, @05:44PM

          by looorg (578) on Thursday January 24 2019, @05:44PM (#791319)

          Indeed. Wrong. That is how the new Russia does it. The soviet union collapsed in 1991, so about 15 years or so before the poisoning of Litvinenko. That said I was more referring to how people just disappeared in the night and then never heard of again and the very interesting system they had of just removing people from history, mostly from books and images (masterfully so done in a world pre-photoshop) after they had fallen from the parties grace.

          https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/the-photo-book-that-captured-how-the-soviet-regime-made-the-truth-disappear [newyorker.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @07:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @07:11PM (#791385)

      ( don't try to feed me any bullshit about needing to fight against Islam, I know better ) and here at home in the US we are tracked and monitored exactly as we would be if we lived in a totalitarian state.

      these things are directly related [wnd.com]

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @08:01AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @08:01AM (#791132)

    The Russians did not hack the the DNC! There is no proof that they did. Fuck the lying DNC and the people that support them!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @02:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24 2019, @02:51PM (#791233)

      That has been a mantra of the mainstream media in the US. Repeat until true.

      As if the Russians would need to release via wikileaks. They are a state, they can provide a shield for sources themselves.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @02:04AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @02:04AM (#791557)

      Nice try Vladimir.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @05:01AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25 2019, @05:01AM (#791617)

        Thanks, Brad!

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