The US authorities have prepared charges against the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and intend to seek his arrest. It is reported by CNN, citing officials.
During the work of the previous administration of President Barack Obama and the justice Ministry was established to bring charges against Assange would be difficult, because WikiLeaks was not the only resource, which published the documents stolen, in particular, of the US army Bradley Manning now known as Chelsea manning. Secret data were published and the newspaper the New York Times.
Then the investigation in connection with the activities of WikiLeaks continued, but the process of bringing charges has been postponed. In particular, it was argued that such a prosecution is contrary to the First amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech.
Opinion of U.S. law enforcement agencies began to change after investigators found evidence that, in their opinion, indicated that WikiLeaks had played an active role in assisting the former intelligence officer Edward Snowden who disclosed a lot of secret documents.
Last week in his speech at the Center for strategic and international studies in Washington, the Director of the CIA Mike Pompeo said that WikiLeaks “directed” the actions of Chelsea manning. He also called WikiLeaks espionage hostile non-state structure, “often abetted by state actors, such as Russia”.
Us intelligence agencies also claimed that Russian intelligence used WikiLeaks to publish messages to damage the campaign of the presidential candidate of the Democrats, Hillary Clinton in 2016. According to them, the hackers working for the Russian intelligence agencies, stole thousands of e-mails the Democratic national Committee and officials of the Clinton campaigns, and then passed the documents to WikiLeaks through intermediaries.
Thursday, April 20, U.S. attorney General Jeff sessions said that the arrest of Assange is a “top priority.”
Since June 2012 Assange is hiding in Ecuador’s Embassy in Britain to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is suspected of rape and sexual harassment. The guilt, the journalist denies and fears that after extradition the Swedish authorities in Stockholm extradite him to the United States, although up to the present time the American government was not formally charged him yet. After the new President of Ecuador was elected as the candidate of the left forces, Lenin Moreno, Assange will still be able to use the shelter.
Manning was in 2013 convicted of the transfer of WikiLeaks more than 700 thousand classified documents, including diplomatic cables and secret reports about the various incidents with soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. In prison he achieved the legal recognition of himself as a woman named Chelsea. 18 January 2017, two days before the end of the presidential term, Obama commuted her sentence. Convicted have to serve only a term of seven years, and it will be released on 17 may 2017.
American Edward Snowden, who flew to Moscow from Hong Kong after he disclosed a number of secrets of special services, received in August 2013 temporary asylum in Russia, and a year later a three-year residence permit. 18 January, his residence permit was extended for another two years.