A federal grand jury, an expanded U.S. jury, issued a second indictment against Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks. He is suspected of “one of the largest hijackings of classified information in United States history,” the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday, June 24.
It is about a possible conspiracy of an Australian with hackers involved in the group Anonymous.
The document contains no new criminal episodes in addition to the 18 articles listed in the first indictment in May 2019. “However, it does extend the scope of the conspiracy around the alleged computer hacking that Assange was previously accused of,” says the new indictment.
Earlier it became known that the UK hearings on the extradition of Assange to the U.S. were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic until at least September.
The founder of Wikileaks was first arrested in 2010.
The British police arrested an Australian at the request of Sweden, who wanted to interview him in connection with charges of rape and sexual harassment by two women. Assange refused to go to Stockholm, where an arrest warrant had been issued, claiming that he feared extradition or illegal extradition to the United States. But in 2012, he did not appear before a British court where his extradition was to be considered, but took refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and spent seven years there.
In April 2019, a court found Assange guilty of failing to appear seven years ago, at which time the Ecuadorian authorities allowed the British police to enter the Embassy and arrest him. The founder of Wikileaks was sent to a maximum security prison for 50 weeks. Sweden, meanwhile, closed the case against Assange.
The extradition trial in the U.S. will last several months.
The parties were to present their opening arguments within a week, after which the hearing was adjourned until 18 May, when the arguments of both parties were to be heard.
The sessions were held with strong protests from Julian Assange’s supporters. They began their statements even before the opening of the trial. Among those who came to support the founder of WikiLeaks were designer Vivienne Westwood, musician, one of the founders of Pink Floyd Roger Waters, actress Sadie Frost.