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Julian Assange Charged In Secret, Mistake On US Court Filing Suggests

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

The court filing, submitted by US authorities in an unrelated case, mentioned the existence of criminal charges against someone named "Assange" even though that was not the name of the defendant.
 link to www.theguardian.com

Julian Assange charged in secret, mistake on US court filing suggests

Court filing submitted by US authorities in an unrelated case mentioned existence of criminal charges against someone named 'Assange'

Jon Swaine and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in New York

Fri 16 Nov 2018 00.34 EST

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Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London since 2012, is considered a wanted man by US law enforcement agencies. Photograph: Daniel Tapia/Reuters
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Julian Assange, a major target of the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election, has been criminally charged in secret, an apparent mistake in a court filing has indicated.

The court filing, submitted by US authorities in an unrelated case, mentioned the existence of criminal charges against someone named "Assange" even though that was not the name of the defendant.

Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London since seeking asylum in 2012, is considered a wanted man by US law enforcement agencies after his controversial publication of classified diplomatic cables and other secret US government documents.

One of Assange's attorneys, Barry Pollack, said it was a "dangerous path for a democracy to take" for a government to bring criminal charges against someone for publishing truthful information.

"The news that criminal charges have apparently been filed against Mr. Assange is even more troubling than the haphazard manner in which that information has been revealed," Pollack said in an email.

Earlier on Thursday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US was making preparations to prosecute Assange and was confident of being able to detain him and make him stand trial.

The court filing, written by assistant US attorney Kellen Dwyer, did not specify the nature of any charges against Assange. It was submitted to the federal court in the eastern district of Virginia, which handles many cases involving national security.

WikiLeaks is under investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, for publishing thousands of emails stolen from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. US intelligence agencies concluded that the emails were taken by Russian government hackers as part of an operation aimed at helping the campaign of Donald Trump.

The filing asked the court to seal the charges, meaning they are kept secret from public view. It argued that "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".
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It later said: "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."

A spokesman for the Justice Department in Virginia's eastern district would not address the question of whether the document meant Assange had already been charged by the US.

"The court filing was made in error. That was not the intended name for this filing," the spokesman, Joshua Stueve, said in an email.

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

Legal analysts said the error was likely to have been caused by prosecutors copying and pasting from sealed documents outlining charges against Assange. Prosecutors are known to copy text from past court filings to make similar arguments in new cases, typically changing names and other relevant details accordingly.

The court filing was first noticed by Seamus Hughes, an academic at Georgetown University and former US government official. It was filed in the case of a man named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi. It was submitted to court in Kokayi's case in August this year and went unnoticed until now.

homepage: homepage: http://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/nov/16/julian-assange-charged-in-secret-mistake-on-us-court-filing-suggests
address: address: The Guardian


All Bullshit! 16.Nov.2018 20:33

Tracy Mapes

Assange is Nothing More That State Issued Propaganda.