“A federal grand jury returned an 18-count superseding indictment today charging Julian P. Assange, 47, the founder of WikiLeaks, with offenses that relate to Assange’s alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States", the release said on Thursday.
READ MORE: US Charges Against Assange Mark End of Press Freedom — WikiLeaks
The release said that Assange if convicted, faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison on each count except for the count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, for which he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
On 1 May, a London court sentenced Assange to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail by seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.
The United States had been seeking Assange's extradition on charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and engaging in the compromise of classified information.
However, WikiLeaks said in April that it suspected the United States might be building an espionage case against Assange.
READ MORE: ‘Dangerous Precedent’: Turnover of Assange’s Personal Effects Shows US’ Power