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ASSANGE SECRETLY INDICTED? March 1, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Democracy, Social Environment.
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The usual assumption is that judicial indictments are open processes in which witness testimony and evidence is public. Grand juries in the US do not follow a practice of transparency.

Wkileaks latest download of files suggest that Julian Assange has be indicted in Virginia for espionage.Since it is a secret process and the members of the grand jury are pre-selected, the indictment in this case is pro-forma despite any constitutional protections, which according to some in American legal theory do not apply to non-citizens.

Jennifer Robinson writing an opinion for The Sydney Morning Herald describes the case and the apparent ignorance of the Australian Government:

WikiLeaks’s latest release of confidential emails obtained from the US private intelligence firm Stratfor indicate the US Department of Justice has issued a secret, sealed indictment against Julian Assange. While the Department of Justice has refused to confirm the existence of the Assange indictment – it refuses to comment upon any alleged sealed indictment – the Stratfor email is the best confirmation we have of the long-stated concerns about the risk of Assange’s extradition to the US to face criminal prosecution for his publishing activities with WikiLeaks.
The email was from Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice-president for counterterrorism and corporate security, and former deputy chief of the Department of State’s counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service. On Australia Day last year, Burton revealed in internal Stratfor correspondence: ”Not for Pub – We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect.”
Following the announcement by the US Attorney-General, Eric Holder, of criminal investigation into Assange in December 2010, the US government has refused to give further comment on its plans to prosecute him. The grand jury is secret. Our appeals to military courts for access to the Bradley Manning proceedings were denied. The Australian government has consistently claimed to have no information from the US as to whether they will prosecute Assange and seek his extradition.

The question we must now ask: if a Texas private intelligence firm knew of the sealed indictment for more than a year – why doesn’t our government? Did the government know? Was its denial of knowledge dishonest?

This new evidence will have less effect on the Australian Government than it may inform the decision of the British Supreme Court in relation to Assange’s extradition to Sweden. The cooperation between the US Government and large corporate interests is one of the striking features of the Assange case to date.

Alonya on RT gives the lowdown:

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