Saturday, 17 November 2018 15:52

Group seeks details of Assange charges after leak Featured

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American journalists' grouping Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has filed a motion in the eastern district of Virginia to unseal the US Government's criminal charges against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

The filing of charges against Assange came to light after portions of a complaint against him were apparently cut and pasted into a complaint against an unrelated individual, Seitu Sulayman Kokayi.

In two places, Assange's name appeared, leading to the conclusion that these paragraphs of text had been cut and pasted by mistake.

One sentence read: "Another procedure short of sealing will not adequately protect the needs of law enforcement at this time because, 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."

And a second said: "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 motion filed by the Reporters Committee said on 15 November, Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University "reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia had pasted sections of a motion to seal the charging document in the Assange Prosecution into a publicly available sealing motion filed in an unrelated matter".

The motion concluded: "The Reporters Committee seeks an order unsealing the court records — including, but not limited to, the Court’s docket and any criminal complaint, indictment, or other charging document—from the government’s criminal prosecution of Assange."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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