Published: Fri, November 16, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Prosecutors Mistakenly Reveal Criminal Charges Against Julian Assange

Prosecutors Mistakenly Reveal Criminal Charges Against Julian Assange

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, "has been charged", according to an unrelated court filing that inadvertently mentioned his name, reports said.

Assange is concerned that if he leaves the embassy the United States may also seek to extradite him on espionage charges.

"The complaint, supporting affidavit, and arrest warrant, as well as this motion and the proposed order, would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter", Dwyer wrote.

"The court filing was made in error", said a spokesperson for the USA attorney's office Joshua Stueve.

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The filing in the Eastern District of Virginia came on August 22, in a case that combines national security and sex trafficking. Seitu Sulayman Kokayi was charged enticing a teenage girl to have sex with him.

USA media were alerted late Thursday to the inadvertent disclosure, thanks to a tweet from Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

"The last thing the Department of Justice should be doing is pursuing criminal charges against someone for publishing truthful information", he said.

Julian Assange makes his way back indoors after speaking to the media from the balcony of the Embassy Of Ecuador on May 19, 2017.

It remains unclear both if and how Assange could face charges in the USA state, Currently, he resides under political asylum inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge, London. That matter has since been dropped, but WikiLeaks supporters have claimed that Assange fears being extradited to the United States if he leaves the embassy.

Mr Assange's lawyer Barry Pollack said, "The news that criminal charges have apparently been filed against Mr Assange is even more troubling than the haphazard manner in which that information has been revealed".

If Assange were to leave the embassy and be arrested by British authorities, he would likely still fight extradition in the British courts.

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