Spanish Court to Question Former US State Secretary Pompeo About Assange's Case, Reports Say
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A Spanish court has summoned Mike Pompeo, the former US secretary of state and concurrently the former chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as a witness in a case concerning alleged Washington's plan to kill WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Spanish newspaper ABC reported on Friday.
A judge of the Spanish National Court has decided to summon Pompeo to explain whether the US government and CIA intended to kidnap and kill Assange during the presidency of Donald Trump, according to ABC.
The Spanish court reportedly sent Pompeo a subpoena earlier in June. The US official was offered the opportunity to testify via videoconference, the newspaper reported. Apart from Pompeo, a similar subpoena was sent to former US National Counter-intelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina.
According to ABC, the decision came after Spanish prosecutor Carlos Bautista upheld a motion filed by Assange's lawyer Aitor Martinez.
In April, the UK Westminster Magistrate's Court formally approved the extradition of Assange to the United States, where he is facing a possible sentence of up to 175 years in prison. In May, Assange's defence filed a representation to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to block his extradition.
Last year, media reported that US officials had allegedly discussed the possibility of Assange's assassination during his stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2017. The plan was reportedly to kidnap Assange from the diplomatic mission or capture him if he tried to escape.
WikiLeaks was founded by Assange on 4 October 2006, but rose to prominence in 2010 when it began to publish large-scale leaks of classified government information, especially from the US. Assange is wanted by the US on espionage charges after WikiLeaks published thousands of classified documents that shed light on war crimes committed by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.