DOJ Reportedly Preparing to Prosecute WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was behind a massive dump of classified United States documents, has been charged in secret by USA authorities, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, has been charged under seal in the USA, prosecutors have accidentally revealed.

Assange's name appeared at least twice in papers filed in the Eastern District Court of Virginia, both times appearing to say that Assange has already been made the subject of his own case.

The filing alludes to the need to keep paperwork in the case under seal 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".

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Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia said, "The court filing was made in error".

"That was not the intended name for this filing", the spokesperson said.

"Prosecuting Wikileaks would set a risky precedent that the Trump administration would surely use to target other news organizations", the ACLU wrote in April 2017. In 2016, WikiLeaks published emails from the Democratic National Committee that had been hacked by Russian intelligence.

Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador, and he's been living in the country's London embassy since 2012. Chelsea Manning. In a Twitter post early Friday, WikiLeaks said the "US case against WikiLeaks started in 2010" and expanded to include other disclosures, including by contractor Edward Snowden.

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Assange's lawyer in the US told the Times the charges were "troubling".

As Glenn Greenwald lays out in The Intercept, "prosecuting Assange and/or WikiLeaks for publishing classified documents would be in an entirely different universe of press freedom threats". "The government bringing criminal charges against someone for publishing truthful information is a unsafe path for a democracy to take". Last year, the US Justice Department was reportedly considering filing criminal charges against WikiLeaks and Assange in connection with the 2010 leak of diplomatic cables and military documents.

Carlos Poveda, the lawyer of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, told Sputnik that Ecuador might extradite his client, suggesting Quito might have reached an agreement for this with London and Washington.

Whether Assange will ever face these charges is another story.

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Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced allegations of rape, or the USA where he could face trial for publishing the thousands of secret government documents in 2010.

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