Julian Assange has been hit with an 18-count indictment that supersedes the charge announced in April when the WikiLeaks founder was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The United States is alleging that Assange conspired with, and “aided and abetted”, Chelsea Manning to remove US classified documents. It also alleges that Assange published on WikiLeaks the unredacted names of sources in Iraq and Afghanistan that provided information to the US. “These human sources included local Afghans and Iraqis, journalists, religious leaders, human rights advocates, and political dissidents from repressive regimes,” a statement from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said. “According to the superseding indictment, Assange’s actions risked serious harm to United States national security to the benefit of our adversaries and put the unredacted named human sources at a grave and imminent risk of serious physical harm and/or arbitrary detention.” In a briefing, US officials said they were not charging Assange for acting as a publisher, but rather because he endangered the lives of sources. “Assange is charged for his alleged complicity in illegal acts to obtain or receive voluminous databases of classified information and for agreeing and attempting to obtain classified information through computer hacking,” US Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger said. “The United States has not charged Assange for passively obtaining or receiving classified information. “Instead, the United States has only charged Assange for publishing a narrow set of classified documents in which Assange also allegedly published the unredacted names of innocent people who risked their… [Read full story]
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