Julian Assange charged in secret, mistake on U.S. court filing suggests

US Prosecutors Reportedly Optimistic About Bringing Julian Assange to Court

The DOJ is increasingly optimistic about the prospect of bringing Julian Assange before a USA court and is reportedly planning to formally charge the whistleblower in the hope of getting him out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

It argued that "due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged".

It adds, "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".

"The court filing was made in error", said Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the US Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia, US media reported.

Throughout that time, the USA has refused to say whether there are any sealed charges against Assange.

The 47-year-old Assange has been holed up at Ecuador's embassy in London since 2012, where he took refuge over fears of being extradited to the U.S. over the 2010 WikiLeaks cable dump.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller III has also exploring the publication by WikiLeaks of emails from the Democratic National Committee and the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

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While the DOJ has been investigating Assange for eight years, the prosecutors have yet to agree on the precise charges the 47-year-old might face. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, though, had taken a more aggressive stance and vowed to crack down on all government leaks.

On Thursday, it was revealed in The Wall Street Journal that the Justice Department is feeling "increasingly optimistic" about the possibility, Washington insiders believe.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has already been charged with unspecified crimes under seal, according to a recent filing in an unrelated case.

Prosecuting someone for publishing truthful information would set a awful and unsafe precedent.

While Sweden has since dropped the case against him, Assange was forced to remain inside the embassy because he is still subject to arrest in the United Kingdom for jumping bail six years ago. Prosecutors are known to copy text from past court filings to make similar arguments in new cases, typically changing names and other relevant details accordingly.

Wikileaks tweeted the revelation was an "apparent cut-and-paste error".

He has sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since seeking asylum in 2012. Assange's defence team subsequently sued Ecuador over the conditions of his stay in the embassy, which, according to them, violate the WikiLeaks founder's rights.

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