Assange Hit with New 18-Count Indictment
The US Department of Justice has produced a new 18-count indictment charging Wikileaks founder Julian Assange with illegally obtaining classified information and publishing this through his organization. The previous indictment, which is superseded by this one, charged him with conspiracy to break into a Pentagon computer system.
The exposed information comprises secret US government intel and communications relating to the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The government argues that this act hurt national security and critics of Assange therefore consider him to be a spy. However, the defendant’s lawyers and many activists argue that Assange is a whistle-blower who acted in the public interest. Various journalists and analysts view the latest indictment in particular as an attack on the freedom of the press.
Assange is currently serving a prison term in Britain for jumping bail, while the US seeks his extradition. Sweden recently reopened an investigation into a rape allegation against Assange, which may complicate US extradition efforts.
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