Washington: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, known for the 2010 leaks provided by Chelsea Manning, has been accidentally charged by the U.S. Department of Justice, stated WikiLeaks. While the nature of the charges levelled against Assange is not immediately known, prosecutors reveal the presence of sealed indictment inadvertently in a court filing in an unrelated case, said WikiLeaks.
In a tweet on Friday, Wikileaks revealed the accidental charge against ‘Assange’ in an unrelated criminal case in a court filing submitted by US authorities.
Ever since Assange was caught up in allegations of sexual harassment in 2010, he had taken asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. On December 7, 2010, Assange voluntarily surrendered to the UK police. He was kept in custody for a period of ten days before being released on bail. After he lost an appeal against extradition to Sweden, he failed to comply with the bail term and absconded.
The 47-year-old Australian national was granted asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in central London for six years since August 2012. His greatest fear was facing an extradition to the United States if he left the Embassy for his role in releasing secret American documents, claimed the WikiLeaks supporters.
According to reports, the Justice Department officials stated that the only way to remove Assange from the embassy was through a public indictment. Assange had an argument in the court late September about Ecuador government’s alleged attempt to expel him from London embassy and hand him over to the U.S.
The website WikiLeaks became popular over the publication of a video footage in April 2010 which showed the slaying of two Reuters journalists in Iraq.