Federal prosecutors accidentally disclose that WikiLeaks' Assange has already been secretly indicted


According to the Washington Post Thursday, the Department of Justice had "inadvertently" revealed the documents during a filing for a separate case. Sweden dropped the charges previous year, but Assange could still face charges related to skipping bail if he left the embassy.

She is reportedly also assigned to the Assange case. Within the report, while arguing for the specific details of the ongoing case to remain sealed, the complaint made mention of "Assange". Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, urging a judge to keep the matter sealed, wrote that "due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged".

But Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the prosecutors' office that filed the document that was unsealed, admitted the court filing was an "error". "That was not the intended name for this filing".

Any charges against Assange could help illuminate whether Russian Federation coordinated with the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election. The Justice Department has said the filing was made in error.

Assange, who became an Ecuadorian citizen in December, has been fighting Ecuador's Foreign Affairs Ministry which has imposed restrictions on him during his stay at the embassy, including rules barring him from commenting on politics and requiring him to clear any visitors three days in advance.

The New York Times reported that the filing was first spotted late Thursday.

More news: Trump condemned for cancelling France cemetery visit due to weather

Assange, who had leaked tons of classified documents in 2010, has been living in hiding in Ecuador.

A source familiar with the matter said the document was initially sealed but unsealed this week for reasons that are unclear at the moment.

Assange's lawyer Barry Pollack, however, told the WSJ that he had "heard nothing from authorities suggesting that a criminal case against Mr. Assange is imminent".

WikiLeaks condemned what it referred to as "public confirmation" of pending US charges against its founder in a statement on Friday. "The government bringing criminal charges against someone for publishing truthful information is a unsafe path for a democracy to take".

On Twitter, Wikileaks said it was an "apparent cut-and-paste error". He walked into the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 and requested asylum after losing a legal fight against extradition to Sweden, where two women had accused him of rape.

In the years since, the Swedish case has been closed, but Assange has said he can not risk leaving the embassy because the USA would try to have him arrested and extradited for disclosures of U.S. government secrets.