By Aaron Kesel
The U.S. Department of Justice just accidentally revealed that it has had sealed charges against WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange in a botched filing on another case.
SCOOP: US Department of Justice "accidentally" reveals existence of sealed charges (or a draft for them) against WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange in apparent cut-and-paste error in an unrelated case also at the Eastern District of Virginia. https://t.co/wrjlAbXk5Z pic.twitter.com/4UlB0c1SAX
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 16, 2018
The DOJ may finally be answering the mysterious comments by UK’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt who let it slip months ago there were pending “serious charges” against Assange.
As has been previously highlighted by Activist Post, UK’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt dared Assange to walk out of the Ecuadorean embassy. He further let comments slip alluding to an active investigation when he said, Assange was facing “serious charges.” That article was then deleted and absent from News.com.au’s website and others.
The DOJ revealed its recent Freudian slip when it sent out a secret charges request that it filed in another case at the same Eastern District of Virginia, mistakenly error-ridden with Assange’s name.
The case was pointed out by Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, who joked about the court error on Twitter.
You guys should read EDVA court filings more, cheaper than a Journal subscription pic.twitter.com/YULeeQphmd
— Seamus Hughes (@SeamusHughes) November 16, 2018
The case is actually the case of Seitu Sulayman Kokayi, 29, who was charged with luring a 15-year-old girl to have sex and send pornographic images of herself. But he was detained in part because he “has a substantial interest in terrorist acts,” according to the court filing,” Washington Post reported.
That request completely irrelevant to Assange’s own case showcases two notable mentions of the former WikiLeaks publisher’s name, revealing sealed charges (or a draft for them) within the document that don’t fit with Kokayi’s case.
The whistleblower organization is asking on Twitter if the mistake is a cut-and-paste error and has revealed that Julian Assange has been charged in secret proceedings, presumably the WikiLeaks Grand Jury.
The Wall Street Journal has confirmed with its own sources that the U.S. is attempting to charge Assange and remains optimistic it can do so.
Did the US Department of Justice just accidentally reveal that it has charged WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange, in a secret charges request it filed in another case at the Eastern District of Virginia, with a cut-and-paste error? https://t.co/XCpean1yof pic.twitter.com/dZ6JjAFGlk
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 16, 2018
The first mention of the former WikiLeaks editor can be found under numeral 3.
3. The United States has considered alternatives less drastic than sealing, including, for example, the possibility of redactions, and has determined that none would suffice to protect this investigation. 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.
The second mention of Assange can be found under the heading, “III. PERIOD OF TIME GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO HAVE MATTER REMAIN UNDER SEAL (Local Rule 49(B)(3)).”
The heading reads:
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.
6. Upon occurrence of the event specified in paragraph 8, pursuant to Local Rule 49(B)(3), the sealed materials will be automatically unsealed and handled as such.
WHEREFORE, the United States respectfully requests that the criminal complaint, the supporting affidavit, and the arrest warrant in this matter, as well as this Motion to Seal and proposed Order, be sealed until further order of the Court.
The document is signed by assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer who urges a judge to keep the matter sealed.
Dwyer further wrote 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.”
Dwyer later wrote that the charges “need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.”
Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia have long been investigating Assange since 2010 for the infamous leaks of Cablegate which revealed U.S. corruption, including a video of the slaying of two Reuters journalists in Iraq.
The Trump administration has begun taking a second look at whether it can charge members of the WikiLeaks organization for the 2010 leak of diplomatic cables. Former CIA head, now state department head, Mike Pompeo, even called WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” just last year.
Investigators are also now focusing on whether WikiLeaks can face criminal liability for the more recent revelation of sensitive CIA cyber weapons (which WikiLeaks has not posted the source code to any of the tools.)
It’s not immediately clear what charges Assange is facing. In the past, prosecutors under the Obama administration had contemplated pursuing a case involving conspiracy, theft of government property or violating the Espionage Act. But the Obama administration’s Justice Department decided against pursuing Assange, stating it would be the equivalent to prosecuting a news organization, threatening freedom of the press.
Barry J. Pollack, one of Assange’s attorneys, has said:
The only thing more irresponsible than charging a person for publishing truthful information would be to put in a public filing information that clearly was not intended for the public and without any notice to Mr. Assange. Obviously, I have no idea if he has actually been charged or for what, but the notion that the federal criminal charges could be brought based on the publication of truthful information is an incredibly dangerous precedent to set.
As fears of an attempt to extradite Julian Assange grow and his health deteriorates, Christine Assange has called on all “Journalists, Politicians, Medical Professionals and Activists To Stand Up For Julian Assange,” in an emergency plea to help save her son’s life.
Christine Assange urged officials to allow access to medical attention for her son, and for the UK and Ecuador to end Assange’s illegal 8-year detainment (2 years of virtual house arrest, 6 years confined inside the Ecuadorian embassy) without charge as determined by the UN.
For the past 6 years in the embassy, the UK government has refused his request for access to basic health needs: fresh air, exercise, sunshine for vitamin D and access to proper medical and dental care according to Christine Assange and Julian Assange’s lawyer, Greg Barns.
As a result, his health has seriously deteriorated; and his examining doctors warn these detention conditions are life-threatening.
“The slow and cruel assassination is taking place before our very eyes in the embassy in London,” Christine expressed.
Assange’s doctor, Sean Love, has previously stated in an opinion piece that depriving him of medical care is “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” Adding, “It is time for Australia to intervene.”
Other doctors who examined Assange, Sondra Crosby, an associate professor at Boston University’s school of medicine and public health, and Brock Chisholm, a clinical psychologist in London have stated much the same.
All three called on safe passage for Assange to a hospital. In an article for the Guardian, they wrote:
While the results of the evaluation are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality, it is our professional opinion that his continued confinement is dangerous physically and mentally to him and a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.
The above health concerns are coupled with surveillance technology that was a requirement for Assange to remain in the embassy, including signal jammers and all of the additional spying technology that is emitting various electromagnetic waves.
What are the effects of refugee publisher @JulianAssange being exposed to eighteen signal jammers (3 clusters, six antennas per cluster) in a confined space 24/7 for seven months? This paper offers a glimpse https://t.co/f8uubSNCyY
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 2, 2018
Assange’s health isn’t the only topic Christine touched on; she also detailed as a recent press release by WikiLeaks which noted that Ecuador’s former President, Rafael Correa (whose administration granted Assange political asylum), said that the current U.S. Trump administration is “trying to break him psychologically” and that a deal had been struck during Pence’s visit to Ecuador earlier this year.
This news comes as Ecuador is being pressured to end Assange’s asylum and citizenship so he can be arrested by British police and extradited to the U.S. to face charges under the Espionage Act — the federal law often used to punish whistleblowers.
As Wikileaks notes, however, there is one problem by giving Assange citizenship, he is now gifted protection from extradition through Ecuador’s constitution, making extraditing him highly illegal.
After US pressure, moves accelerate to strip WikiLeaks' publisher @JulianAssange of Ecuadorian citizenship. His citizenship status is a barrier to rendering him to another state as article 79 of Ecuador's constitution forbids extradition of citizens. https://t.co/mZxzLTtAuo
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 18, 2018
But there are dirty plans in the works, as reported by Spanish newswire EFE, which quoted Ecuador’s Attorney General on a plan to go with the UK to binding international arbitration, then to “lose” in order to be “forced” to hand over Julian Assange in order to avoid being prosecuted for an illegal extradition, according to the international whistleblower organization.
Spanish newswire EFE quotes Ecuador's Attorney General on a plan to go with UK to binding international arbitration, then to "lose" in order to be "forced" to hand over Julian Assange–in order to avoid being prosecuted for an illegal extradition https://t.co/tUPMFeHcHo
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 4, 2018
The Trump administration is threatening to step over a never-crossed line – applying the secret documents provision of the Espionage Act to journalistic practices, according to the EFF, which last year condemned the threats of prosecution against WikiLeaks and Assange.
Last month, lawyers representing Assange sued Ecuador, accused the government of violating Assange’s “fundamental rights and freedoms.” While Ecuador has further threatened Julian Assange that if he speaks “there will be consequences,” claiming that refugees do not have speech rights, citing a defunct convention from 1929.
Ecuador continues to threaten WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange saying if he speaks "there will be consequences", claiming that refugees do not have speech rights, citing a defunct convention from 1929. https://t.co/0W1gM2QL1D
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) November 7, 2018
In March, Ecuador and its leader Lenín Moreno pulled the plug on Julian Assange’s Internet connection. Then, Ecuador further demanded Assange remove a specific tweet referencing a foreign political prisoner Carles Puigdemont. The irony here is that Ecuador accused Assange of “interfering in a state” for mentioning another political prisoner and Assange himself had more of his own rights taken away.
“In 1940 the elected president of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, was captured by the Gestapo, at the request of Spain, delivered to them and executed. Today, German police have arrested the elected president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, at the request of Spain, to be extradited,” Assange tweeted.
Ecuador clarified its position on Julian Assange’s asylum at the time by drafting new rules limiting his communications, according to WikiLeaks.
The original cut-off of Assange’s internet was due to an alleged breach of an agreement to refrain from interfering in other states’ affairs.
The action, according to Ecuador, was taken following Assange’s breach of a written agreement signed with the Ecuadorian government at the end of 2017, in which he vowed “not to send messages interfering in the affairs of other sovereign states,” the government said in a statement. “The Executive remains open to the possibility of further sanctions in cases of future breaches of the agreements by Assange.”
WikiLeaks has previously stated that Assange was never under a gag agreement, calling the allegations “entirely false.”
WikiLeaks believes that the fact their editor is being censored for what Ecuador is stating is “interfering in a state” is a huge step in the direction of “setting a precedent that would outlaw millions of Twitter users, all journalists and more human rights workers.”
Even if his rights are given back, Assange is not safe and is still facing a threat of extradition, which the war is on to stop as Activist Post previously reported.
WikiLeaks has recently faced increased pressure from authorities. Last year, the U.S. Senate considered a bill that would classify WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service” bundled as part of the 2018 Intelligence Authorization Act. Presumably, that classification would authorize the use of force against WikiLeaks and presumably its supporters.
Then in late December of last year the Head Legal Office in Madrid of former judge and WikiLeaks’ chief counsel, Baltasar Garzón was raided by masked men dressed in all black and the security cameras were taped. Despite the break-in, nothing was taken and the operation was referred to as being “professionally done” by police.
The U.S. has been on a relentless crusade against WikiLeaks since May 2010 and considers Julian Assange’s arrest a priority, while several politicians have threatened Assange’s life. It has been almost 8 years now since Assange was arrested and detained under one form or another, with 2 years of virtual house arrest, 6 years confined inside the Ecuadorian embassy and now he can add unjustified solitary confinement to the long laundry list.
Allegations against Assange in Sweden have been dropped, and he is facing only a minor infraction in the UK for failing to turn up to a court hearing, a police bail warrant.
While the warrant issued in question arose 12 days after Julian entered the Ecuador Embassy seeking asylum from U.S. threats against his life and liberty. So that warrant should never have been issued in the first place, as Asylum/international law overrides domestic (UK) law.
Instead, the allegations should have been dropped after Sweden dropped its preliminary investigation and Julian wasn’t charged as the warrant was attached to the European Arrest Warrant on that case.
However, the U.S. government can’t serve a subpoena until its “target” is first in its custody. Only then would they then drop the bail warrant as they know its legally defunct.
WikiLeaks also highlighted earlier last month that U.S. congressmen wrote an open letter to Ecuador President Lenín Moreno stating that in order to advance “crucial matters… from economic co-operation to counternarcotics assistance, to the possible return of a USAID mission to Ecuador, we must first resolve a significant challenge created by your predecessor, Rafael Correa – the status of Julian Assange.”
NEW: Ahead of midterms, ranking Democrat, but not Republican, of House Foreign Relations Committee pressures Ecuador's president @Lenin to hand over @WikiLeaks' publisher @JulianAssange "A dangerous criminal and a threat to global security"
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 17, 2018
If the UK or Ecuador does decide to illegally hand over Julian Assange to the U.S. in violation of two UN rulings, then it’s inevitable that we see a rain of leaks that the world has never seen. That will undoubtedly rock society as WikiLeaks has consistently for 11 years.
Last year, Moreno vowed to stop Assange from revealing further corruption about the United States for the duration of his stay at the embassy, stating he would “gag Assange from revealing further corruption about the U.S.”
Although Moreno claims to support Assange’s asylum, he previously said that he would ask him to “be very delicate when he addresses international politics, especially regarding countries with which we have good relations,” reported Latin American news outlet teleSUR.
As journalist and Internet Party NZ President Suzie Dawson previously posed the question in her “Being Julian Assange” mega-article on Assange’s situation and WikiLeaks’ history, “we need to ask ourselves whether we are we watching Assange die before our very eyes?”
Assange’s situation is getting worse with each passing day between his health and the isolation without charge, which according to Human Rights Watch General Counsel Dinah PoKempner is looking more and more like solitary confinement.
— Assange Defence (@AssangeDefence) September 30, 2018
Julian Assange needs support, and that isn’t coming from the Mainstream Media (MSM), the 4th branch of the government, (Immortal Technique reference).
That support comes from grassroots movements, dissident activists and hacktivists worldwide, as was displayed with OpPayback in defense of the WL blockade, as well as from readers like you who share this article in support of Assange’s legal defense.
If you sense the calling and feel your conscience won’t let you live with the death of a journalist, please come join the Unity4J/WikiBees Discord where you can network and organize with other like-minded individuals for on-the-streets actions and legal actions (petitions and protests) for Julian Assange.
It’s important to note as all this unfolds that WikiLeaks recently announced that one of Assange’s longtime associates, Kristin Hrafnsson, took over for him as WikiLeaks editor in chief.
So go read WikiLeaks and learn the hidden history about the place that we live in, and stop letting corporate news tell lies to your children.
For up-to-date accurate information on Julian Assange’s plight, see @Wikileaks, @AssangeMrs,
@AssangeDefence, @AssangeLegal, @suigenerisjen, and @Unity4J Twitter accounts, as well as the website Justice4Assange. The website Unity4J will also be up to date with information, live streams, and places where protests will be held in support of Julian Assange.
The war is now on to stop the extradition of Julian Assange, which in reality started months ago as Activist Post first reported. You can donate to the support fund of Julian Assange through The WikiLeaks Legal Defense Fund here.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.