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Julian Assange Faces 17 New Charges Under Espionage Act

Julian Assange

Washington: The US Justice Department has filed 17 new charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently facing extradition from the UK, under the Espionage Act for his role in unlawfully encouraging, receiving and publishing national defence information in concert with former American Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Traditionally, the Justice Department has prosecuted government officials who leak classified information, but Thursday’s announcement that a federal grand jury had returned a fresh indictment against the distributor of sensitive documents marked the latest move by President Donald Trump’s administration to crack down on unauthorized disclosure of classified information and press freedoms, CNN reported.

The new 18-count indictment handed down in the Eastern District of Virginia alleges that Julian Assange actively solicited classified information, provoking Manning to obtain thousands of pages of classified material and providing the former with diplomatic State Department cables, Iraq war-related significant activity reports and information related to Guantanamo Bay detainees. (IANS)

 

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