On Friday 16 November it was revealed that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been charged with other offenses than those publicly known. United States prosecutors exposed the charges when they accidentally revealed an unsealed court filing for a sex crime case in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Kellen S. Dwywer, an Assistant US Attorney, who is assigned to Julian’s case, asked the judge to keep the indictment against Assange secret (sealed) “due to the sophistication of the defendant, and the publicity surrounding the case.”
Julian Assange came into the limelight for founding and running WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is a platform for whistleblowers to expose nefarious government activity. According to their website, it’s goal is “to bring important news and information to the public.”
Many classified US documents have been shared on WikiLeaks, most notably about the Iraq war, which the US government cites as a national security issue. Assange was granted Asylum by Ecuador after he expressed fears he would be extradited to the US.
He is currently hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. In July this year, Ecuador was in talks with the UK about whether to revoke his asylum status, but no action has been taken.
WikiLeak’s Twitter has said Assange appeared on the court documents for a sex crime, due to a “cut and paste” error.
Julian is no longer the Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks, after stepping down due to the controversy surrounding his name and situation.
In a statement, Barry Pollack, Julian’s lawyer said:
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…The government bringing criminal charges against someone for publishing truthful information is a dangerous path for a democracy to take.