Assange’s lawyers sue CIA, Mike Pompeo for ‘espionage’ – India Times English News

Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday sued the US Central Intelligence Agency and its former director Mike Pompeo, alleging it recorded their conversations and copied data from their phones and computers. Lawyers accompanying two journalists attending the trial are American and allege that the CIA violated their US constitutional protections for confidential discussions with Assange, who is Australian.

He said the CIA worked with a security firm contracted by the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange was living at the time, to spy on the WikiLeaks founder, his lawyers, journalists and others he had met.

Assange is facing extradition from Britain to the US, where he has been accused of violating the US Espionage Act in 2010 by publishing US military and diplomatic files. Afghanistan and the Iraq War.

Robert Boyle, a New York-based attorney representing the plaintiffs in the trial, said the alleged spying of Assange’s lawyers meant that the WikiLeaks founder’s right to a fair trial “is now tainted, if not destroyed.” “Recording of meetings with friends, copying of digital information with lawyers and their lawyers and friends tarnishes criminal prosecution because the government now knows the contents of those communications,” Boyle told reporters.

“There should be a ban on the denial of these charges, or the withdrawal of an extradition request in response to these clearly unconstitutional activities,” he said.

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys Margaret Ratner Kunsler and Deborah Harbeck, and journalists Charles Glass and John Goetz. They all visited Assange while he was living under political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, having since been withdrawn.

The lawsuit names the CIA, former CIA director and former US Secretary of State Pompeo, and security firm Undercover Global and its chief executive David Morales Guillen.

It said Undercover Global, which had a security contract with the embassy, ​​rotated and provided information on its electronic equipment, including communications with Assange, to the CIA. In addition, it installed microphones around the embassy and sent recordings, as well as footage from security cameras, to the CIA, the suit alleges. This, the lawyers said, violated privacy protections for US citizens.

Assange is awaiting a decision on his appeal of a British extradition order to the United States. The charges against him could carry up to 175 years in prison.

Pompeo ‘approved’ spying

The suit states that Spain-based Undercover Global was recruited in 2017 by executives from the Las Vegas Sands casino group to work with the CIA.

Las Vegas Sands was controlled at the time by the late tycoon Sheldon Adelson, a powerful conservative supporter of the Republican Party who, the suit said, “collaborated with the CIA on similar matters in the past.”

The suit states that while Undercover Global controlled security at the embassy, ​​each visitor had to leave their electronic devices with a guard before they could see Assange.

“The information contained on the plaintiff’s equipment was copied and, ultimately, given to the CIA,” he said.

“Defendant Pompeo was aware of and approved of the copying of information contained on Plaintiff’s mobile electronic devices and the covert audio surveillance of his meetings with Assange,” the suit alleged.

It said the defendants only became aware of the espionage when the Spanish newspaper El País reported in September 2019 that Morales and Undercover Global were under criminal investigation in Spain.

El Pais disclosed information about London operations that were previously sealed in the case.

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