The Ecuadorian government is allowing the United States to confiscate the possessions of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from their embassy in London, which was his home for seven years, after seeking asylum in 2012. Assange is currently serving 50 weeks in an English prison on charges of skipping bail.
WikiLeaks’ editor in chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson said Assange had been expecting his arrest for a few weeks, due to a deteriorating relationship with the Ecuadorian government, so he took the time to scrub his computers of any compromising material.
Hrafnsson worries the US could plant something, “If anything surfaces, I can assure you it would’ve been planted,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press. “Julian isn’t a novice when it comes to security and securing his information. We expected this to happen and protections have been in place for a very long time.”
The US is seeking extradition of Assange on a conspiracy charge, the confiscation of his possessions may help build the case or add new charges.
Ecuador’s decision to expel Assange from their embassy came shortly after the IMF approved a $4.2 Billion loan for the country.
A Swedish prosecutor is also seeking the extradition of Assange over a rape allegation from 2010. The investigation was reopened last week.
Whistleblower Chelsea Manning was jailed again on Thursday for refusing to testify before a grand jury, in what prosecutors hope will turn into a trial against Julian Assange.
As Assange and Manning are being jailed and punished for their hand in exposing US war crimes, President Trump has pardoned a former Army Ranger who was convicted of murdering an Iraqi prisoner in 2008, and it’s been reported he may be preparing to pardon more servicemen accused of war crimes this coming Memorial Day.
Dave DeCamp is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US Foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.