Sealed Report Shows Julian Assange Has Been Charged In The U.S.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been charged by U.S authorities, according to reports.
The charges were inadvertently revealed in a court filing which had recently been unsealed, according to The Washington Post.
It's believed the unsealed case was unrelated to Assange and the document was filed by mistake, and the exact nature of the charges are still unclear.
The document carries markings indicating it was originally filed in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia in August.
On Twitter, Wikileaks said it was an "apparent cut-and-paste error."
But Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the prosecutors' office which filed the document that was unsealed, told Reuters, "The court filing was made in error. That was not the intended name for this filing."
Prosecutors sought to keep the charges confidential until after Assange's arrest, the document shows, saying the move was essential to ensure he did not evade or avoid arrest and extradition.
Any procedure "short of sealing will not adequately protect the needs of law enforcement at this time because, 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," the document reads.
It adds, "The complaint, supporting affidavit, and arrest warrant, as well as this motion and the proposed order, would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter."
U.S. officials have previously acknowledged that federal prosecutors based in Alexandria have been conducting a lengthy criminal investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder.
Assange and his supporters have periodically said U.S. authorities had filed secret criminal charges against him, an assertion against which some U.S. officials pushed back, until recently.
The 47-year-old has been living in an Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 after seeking political asylum.
With AAP/ Featured Image: Reuters