Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been summoned to appear in a Spanish court to testify on whether the CIA planned to assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while he was the head of the agency, the Spanish newspaper ABC reported.
Yahoo News reported last year that in 2017, the CIA plotted to kidnap Assange, and some senior officials discussed killing him and requested options on how to carry out the assassination. The CIA was furious with Assange over the WikiLeaks release of documents that detailed the spy agency’s hacking tools, known as Vault 7.
A former Trump national security official told Yahoo News that Pompeo and other senior officials “were completely detached from reality because they were so embarrassed about Vault 7 … they were seeing blood.”
According to the ABC report, Pompeo must appear in court sometime this month to explain if there was a plot to kidnap or kill Assange, although he was given the option to appear via video link. William Evanina, the former head of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, was also summoned to appear before the court.
Assange has been held in London’s Belmarsh Prison for over three years without being convicted of a crime. The WikiLeaks founder is currently awaiting a decision from UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on whether or not he will be extradited to the US to face trial for exposing US war crimes.
Assange has been indicted by the US on 17 counts of espionage and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer crime for publishing documents leaked to him by former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning, a standard journalistic practice. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison.