No light on alleged federal criminal charges for Wikileaks’ Assange

January 31, 2019 by donal brown

A federal judge refused to unseal criminal charges against Wikileaks Julian Assange, the existence of which was mistakenly revealed in another case. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press petitioned the federal court in Virginia for records of the charges arguing that the proof was there that Assange had been charged and the public had the right to know the details. The U.S. attorney’s office countered that although there was compelling public interest in the case, there was no requirement under the First Amendment to reveal charges before an arrest. (BuzzFeed, January 30, 2019, by Zoe Tillman)

The Judge wrote in the ruling that there has no sure evidence that Assange had been charged even though in an unrelated case a federal prosecutor wrote “the fact that Assange has been charged.” The government admitted the error but would not say whether Assange had been charged. (The Raleigh News&Observer, January 30, 2019, by Matthew Barakat of The Associated Press)