Wikileaks says Julian Assange could face 175 years in prison after US files 17 new charges against him
- Julian Assange will get 175 years behind bars if the US finds him guilty of 17 new changes filed on Thursday, WikiLeaks said in a statement.
- A US Department of Justice indictment accuses Assange of obtaining and disclosing national defense information about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
- He was also charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion by the US in April, bringing the total number of charges to 18.
- "This is the evil of lawlessness in its purest form," WikiLeaks said of the charges, approved Thursday by a Virginia grand jury.
- Assange is currently serving 50 weeks in the UK's Belmarsh prison for violating bail conditions.
Julian Assange will serve 175 years in prison if he's found guilty of 17 new charges filed by the US Department of Justice, WikiLeaks claimed on Friday.
Assange, charged in April with one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, was charged with 17 new crimes relating to his work obtaining top-secret US national security information on Thursday.
WikiLeaks responded to the indictment in a statement posted to Twitter on Friday.
WikiLeaks called the charges "madness" and the "end of the first amendment," and Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, said:
"This is the evil of lawlessness in its purest form. With the indictment the 'leader of the free world' dismisses the First Amendment — hailed as a model of press freedom around the world — and launched a blatant extraterritorial assault outside its borders, attacking basic principles of democracy in Europe and the rest of the world."
The charges, approved by a Virginia grand jury, include conspiracy to receive national-defense information, obtaining national-defense information, and disclosure of national-defense information.
They relate to allegations Assange obtained sensitive diplomatic messages and data from US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In April, the Department of Justice charged Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and alleged Assange helped former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning hack a password on a classified Pentagon computer in 2010.
Assange is currently serving a 50-week sentence in the UK's Belmarsh Prison for violating bail conditions.
In the meantime, British authorities will have to decide whether to prioritise the US or Swedish claims first.
British authorities arrested Assange after the embassy withdrew its protection in April. Shortly afterwards, the DOJ indicted him on one charged of hacking.