05:47 GMT22 June 2021
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    On Thursday, the US Department of Justice stated in a press release that WikiLeaks whistle-blower Julian Assange could face up to 175 years in jail for allegedly engaging in espionage activities.

    The new indictment against Julian Assange is invalid if it is based on evidence retrieved from the Ecuadorian Embassy where the WikiLeaks founder lived, according to Carlos Poveda, the lawyer representing the famous whistle-blower.

    Poveda explained that the search of the room where Assange was residing during his seven-year refuge violated the law and thus invalidated the accusations against the WikiLeaks founder.

    "This evidence, on which the new accusations of the United States are based, is invalid and cannot be used in court… We will continue to fight until a judge declares all the evidence invalid and violating rights", Poveda said.    

    READ MORE: Chelsea Manning Condemns Additional Charges Against Assange

    The lawyer voiced concern that the alleged evidence could have been planted after more than four weeks since his arrest. Poveda said that the defence team had requested footage from the security cameras, but their request was turned down by the Ecuadorian authorities.

    "The Ecuadorian government may plant evidence against Assange in order to get him extradited to the United States. I will not mention any names but that is clear that the [Ecuadorian] state is responsible for that", the lawyer said.    

    UK authorities arrested Assange in London on 11 April, after seven years of refuge inside the Ecuadorian Embassy amid rape allegations following his visit to Sweden in 2010. Assange has vehemently denied all those allegations against him.

    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 leak of classified information.

    However, WikiLeaks said in April that it suspected that the United States might be building an espionage case against Assange.


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    indictment, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange
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