In their long struggle to obtain the release of Julian Assange, his lawyers have decided to attack the United States. The co-founder of WikiLeaks filed a complaint on Monday against the US intelligence agency, the CIA, and its former director Mike Pompeo for violation of a constitutional right: the protection of private conversations. The lawsuit was filed with Judge John G. Koeltl of the Southern District of New York by attorneys Margaret Ratner Kunstler and Deborah Hrbek, and reporters Charles Glass and John Goetz. “The privacy rights of these journalists and lawyers who are US citizens are constitutionally protected. It has been breached by intelligence gathering, though several lawmakers have alleged that the agency was keeping the communications data repository secret. n of Americans”, explains lawyer Richard Roth, who represents the plaintiffs.
The events date back to when Julian Assange found refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London from 2012 to 2019. Under President Donald Trump, Spain-based security firm Undercover Global, which is also targeted by the complaint, signs a contract with the embassy.
The district of New York was not chosen by chance
On behalf of the CIA, it will collect data from the electronic devices (telephones, computers) of the complainants during their exchanges with the Australian citizen. The latter, who was arrested by British police in 2019 and has since been imprisoned in a high security prison in Belmarsh, near London, faces extradition to the United States. The 51-year-old journalist faces up to one hundred and seventy-five years in prison for revealing war crimes committed by the American and British armies in Iraq and Afghanistan by publishing confidential documents.
The district of New York was not chosen by chance. In 2019, Judge John G. Koeltl had already dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Democratic Party against WikiLeaks for its revelations during the 2016 presidential campaign. For now, the intelligence agency has refused to comment on the proceedings. For Richard Roth, “ a fair trial in the United States is no longer possible” and the request “of extradition must therefore be withdrawn”. An opinion shared by many lawyers, who believe that these supposed acts of espionage invalidate any impartiality.“There should be sanctions, up to the dismissal of these charges or the withdrawal of the extradition request, in response to these activities so clearly unconstitutional”, reacted Robert Boyle, lawyer for the plaintiffs. Hope.