11:53 GMT +316 December 2018
Listen Live
    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017

    US Federal Government Refuses to Confirm Criminal Case Against Assange

    © REUTERS / Neil Hall
    US
    Get short URL
    0 04

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US federal government refused to either confirm or deny the existence of a sealed criminal case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a court document showed on Monday.

    "It has not confirmed or denied whether charges against Julian Assange exist, which is what the plaintiff seeks to learn through this application," the document stated.

    The federal government's statement came in response to a request to unseal any charges against Assange. That request was filed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press under the Freedom of Information Act.

    The government said it was not obligated by the US Constitution or US common law to admit whether criminal charges against Assange exist. Moreover, federal prosecutors said they would rather conceal any possible charges as they would not want to undermine the legal process or allow persons involved in any case to destroy evidence or escape.

    Assange, who had been prosecuted by Sweden on sexual assault charges, has received asylum in Ecuador and has been living in the country's embassy in the United Kingdom since 2012. Sweden dropped the charges in 2017, but the whistleblower has not left the embassy, citing fears that he might be caught and extradited to the United States, where he might face charges over leaking thousands of classified documents.

    READ MORE: US Determined to Get Assange, So His Prospects Look Pretty Bleak — Activist

    Earlier in November, WikiLeaks said that US authorities inadvertently revealed the existence of sealed criminal charges against Assange, citing a filing in an unrelated case that used Assange's name in an "apparent cut-and-paste error."

    Related:

    Assange’s Lawyer: Ecuador May Be Planning Extradition Under Deal With UK, US
    Authorities Preparing to Prosecute Assange in US Court - Report
    Australian PM Jeers at Pamela Anderson's Calls to Throw Assange Welcome Parade
    Break-in Attempt Occurred at Assange’s Residence in London - Reports
    Tags:
    sexual assault, charges, Julian Assange, Sweden, United States, United Kingdom, Ecuador
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik