US Prosecutors Reportedly Optimistic About Bringing Julian Assange to Court

Cheryl Sanders
November 16, 2018

Facing extradition from Britain to Sweden to be questioned in a sexual molestation case, Assange six years ago took refuge in Ecuador's London embassy, where initially he was treated as a welcome guest.

United States prosecutors have revealed the existence of a sealed indictment against Julian Assange, whose website WikiLeaks first gained notoriety when it published a trove of classified USA government documents in 2010.

Any charges against Assange could help illuminate the question of whether Russian Federation coordinated with the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election.

WikiLeaks found itself at the center of the probe after publishing internal emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta ahead of the election.

Dwyer is also assigned to the WikiLeaks case.

The disclosure came in a filing in a case unrelated to Assange.

The indictment against Assange was inadvertently revealed when Assistant US Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer urged a federal judge to "keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged", according to The Washington Post.

"We have heard nothing from authorities suggesting that a criminal case against Mr. Assange is imminent", Pollack said.

The exact nature of the charges against Assange were not immediately known, but U.S. officials have previously acknowledged that federal prosecutors based in Alexandria have been conducting a lengthy criminal investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder. "That was not the intended name for this filing".

On Thursday, it was revealed in The Wall Street Journal that the Justice Department is feeling "increasingly optimistic" about the possibility, Washington insiders believe.

Assange's name appears twice in an August court filing from a federal prosecutor in Virginia, who was attempting to keep sealed a separate case involving a man accused of coercing a minor for sex.

In July, Mueller charged 12 Russian spies with conspiring to hack Democratic National Committee computers, stealing data from the organization and publishing those files in an effort to sway the election. Seitu Sulayman Kokayi, 29, was charged with enticing a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him and send him pornographic images of herself.

Pollack said he did not know if Assange has been charged.

Ecuadorian officials say they have already cut off the WikiLeaks founder's internet, saying it will be restored only if he agrees to stop interfering in the affairs of Ecuador's partners - notably the United States and Spain.

USA officials had no comment on the disclosure in the document about a sealed indictment of Assange.

Other reports by iNewsToday