UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — On November 19, 2019, the Swedish prosecutor’s office closed the preliminary investigation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
What is known about Julian Assange
A native of Australia, Julian Assange (born in 1971) joined the group of hackers back in the 1980s, choosing the nickname Mendax (from the oxymoron of the ancient Roman poet Horace Splendide Mendax, which means “noble liar” or “magnificent deceiver”). Together with friends, he created the organization International Subversives (“International saboteurs”).
In 1996, he was convicted of hacking the server of the Canadian telecommunications company Nortel Networks and sentenced to a fine of 2.1 thousand Australian dollars (about $ 1.3 thousand). Subsequently, he changed several professions in the field of IT.
In 2006, he founded the WikiLeaks website with the aim of publishing classified information obtained from anonymous sources.
The most famous of them date back to 2010, when confidential documents of the State Department and the Pentagon were published, including diplomatic correspondence and information about military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Later, WikiLeaks published thousands of classified documents, including information on wiretaps by leaders of several countries by the US National Security Agency.
In 2010, in order to guarantee the confidentiality of informants and editors of WikiLeaks, Assange decided to move the site server to Sweden, since the legislation of this country provides reliable protection of user anonymity. In the same year he arrived there and planned to obtain a residence permit.
Soon, an investigation was launched against him on the statement of two Swedes who accused him of sexual harassment. On November 18, 2010, the Stockholm District Court ordered its detention.
Fearing extradition from Sweden to the United States (where an investigation had begun against him), he left for London. On November 30, 2010, Interpol, and on December 2 of the same year, Europol issued warrants for his arrest.
In December 2010, Assange was detained in the UK at the request of Sweden, but was soon released on bail of £ 240 thousand at the time of consideration of the request for extradition. While awaiting trial, he was on his own recognizance.
In February 2011, the court ruled to extradite it to the Swedish authorities, and on June 19, 2012, the British Supreme Court rejected the appeals of Assange’s lawyers.
After that, the founder of WikiLeaks took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London. On April 11, 2019, President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno deprived Assange of political asylum, explaining that he repeatedly “violated the international rule not to interfere in the internal affairs of other states.”
On the same day, the founder of WikiLeaks was detained at the embassy on the basis of two warrants issued by the United Kingdom and the United States (in the UK he is accused of violating the conditions of bail, in the United States – in receiving and disseminating secret information of the Pentagon).
In Sweden, the investigation in three of the four cases brought against Assange was terminated due to the expiration of the statute of limitations in August 2015. The fourth investigation, rape, was suspended on May 19, 2017, and the arrest warrant was no longer valid.
At the same time, the Swedish prosecutor’s office said that if the suspect is available for justice until August 2020, the investigation may be resumed.
On May 13, 2019, the Swedish prosecutor’s office decided to resume the criminal case of rape and sexual harassment against Assange. On May 20, Sweden sent a request to the court for his absentee arrest.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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