Wikileaks founder unlikely to face charges from US government

It’s emerged that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is unlikely to face charges from the American government for publishing confidential information in 2010.

The Washington Post says that the US Justice Department has “all but concluded” that it won’t file charges against Assange because doing so would also require the US government to penalise media outlets and journalists who disseminated the leaks through their reporting. While it’s not official that Assange could be let off the hook for releasing top secret documents, there’s little possibility of it happening.

Meanwhile, Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning face charges under the espionage act, since they actually leaked information. The fact that Assange only published documents but did not obtain them illegally affects the legal analysis of the case against him.

Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson remains skeptical, saying “short of an open, official, formal confirmation that the U.S. government is not going to prosecute WikiLeaks”. Assange is holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he faces arrest and extradition for alleged sexual assault charges in Sweden, so his position of caution, and waiting for confirmation, is justifiable – though any official statement from the US is unlikely to change the situation in London.



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