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U.S. charges WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with espionage
|Last Edited||IndyGeorgia May 23, 2019 07:06pm|
|Author||Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball|
|News Date||Thursday, May 23, 2019 09:10:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department unveiled 17 new criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information. |
The superseding indictment comes a little more than a month after the Justice Department unsealed a narrower criminal case against Assange.
Assange was initially charged with conspiring with Manning to gain access to a government computer as part of a 2010 leak by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of U.S. military reports about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He now faces a total of 18 criminal counts, and could face many decades in prison if convicted.
“These unprecedented charges demonstrate the gravity of the threat the criminal prosecution of Julian Assange poses to all journalists in their endeavor to inform the public about actions that have been taken by the U.S. government,” said Barry Pollack, an American attorney for Assange.
The Justice Department said that not only did Assange aid and encourage Manning with the theft of classified materials, but he jeopardized the lives of human sources that included Afghans, Iraqis, journalists, religious leaders, human rights advocates and political dissidents from repressive regimes by publishing their identities.
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