Private security firm spied on Julian Assange for CIA, reports claim
A Spanish private security company hired to protect the Ecuadorian embassy in London when Julian Assange lived there spied on the WikiLeaks founder for the US intelligence service, it has been claimed.
A report in Spanish newspaper El Pais said the company, UC Global SL, allegedly handed over audio and video to the CIA of meetings Assange held with his lawyers.
The company is being investigated over the claims by Spain’s High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, said the report.
Assange filed a criminal complaint himself, in which he accused the company of violating his privacy and the secrecy of his client-attorney privileges.
El Pais said UC Global SL had failed to respond to requests for comment on the claims.
In April, Assange was dragged out of the embassy after being handed over to the British authorities by Ecuador. He took refuge there in 2012 after the country granted him political asylum.
The US formally requested his extradition in June on 18 charges, including computer misuse and the unauthorised disclosure of national defence information.
He is accused of working with former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
In addition to US charges related to WikiLeaks revelations, Assange also faces a rape allegation in Sweden. Now that Assange no longer has asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy, Swedish authorities have reopened this investigation at the request of the alleged survivor’s lawyer. Assange’s lawyer has previously insisted that “Julian has never been concerned about facing British justice, or indeed Swedish justice”. It is “US injustice”, she said, that concerns him.
He is now in Belmarsh prison in London after being jailed for violating bail conditions imposed over a Swedish extradition request and was due to be released last week, but was remanded in custody pending a hearing of the US extradition case in London in February 2020.
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