Ja, heel wat 'toevallige' vliegtuig en auto ongelukken, snap je nu welquote:
Je moet iets om te blijven ontkennen dat je dingen gedaan hebt die niet door de beugel kunnen.quote:CIA-chef Mike Pompeo heeft WikiLeaks omschreven als een "vijandige inlichtingendienst". Volgens hem heeft de organisatie Rusland meerdere keren geholpen.
De Russische militaire inlichtingendienst GRU heeft volgens Pompeo WikiLeaks gebruikt om tijdens de Amerikaanse verkiezingscampagne gehackte data te verspreiden. Iets wat de Amerikaanse inlichtingendiensten eerder al concludeerden. "WikiLeaks gedraagt zich en spreekt als een vijandige inlichtingendienst", zei Pompeo op een bijeenkomst van een denktank in Washington.
Het was zijn eerste publieke toespraak sinds hij de baas van de CIA is. Pompeo zegt dat het WikiLeaks-oprichter "Assange en zijn soort mensen" niet gaat om transparantie en privacy, maar dat hun doel zelfverheerlijking is door het vernietigen van westerse waarden. "WikiLeaks richt zich voornamelijk op de VS, terwijl ze steun zoekt bij niet-democratische landen en organisaties", voegde de CIA-chef eraan toe.
WikiLeaks maakte eerder deze maand geheime documenten openbaar over de hack-activiteiten van de CIA. Er loopt een strafrechtelijk onderzoek naar het lek.
quote:The Logic of Leaks, reconsidered
Are leaks fast and slow? Does their “illicit aura” matter? Naomi Colvin dives into the debate about leaking and the politics of journalism today.
quote:Zweden staakt strafonderzoek tegen WikiLeaks-oprichter Julian Assange | NOS
Het Zweedse Openbaar Ministerie stopt het strafrechtelijk onderzoek tegen WikiLeaks-oprichter Julian Assange. "De verdachte heeft het land verlaten en het ziet er niet naar uit dat hij binnen afzienbare tijd aan Zweden wordt uitgeleverd", laat het Zweedse OM weten.
Het Zweedse arrestatiebevel is ingetrokken. Als Assange naar Zweden terugkeert, kan de zaak tot in augustus 2020 worden heropend. Daarna is de zaak verjaard.
Assange (45) werd in Zweden verdacht van verkrachting van twee vrouwen. Hij heeft de beschuldigingen steeds ontkend en was bang dat ze een voorwendsel waren om hem via Zweden aan de VS uit te leveren. Daar wordt hij gezocht voor het publiceren van geheime documenten.
Na de bekendmaking verspreidde Assange een foto van zichzelf waarop hij breeduit lacht. Zijn advocaat in Zweden spreekt van een totale overwinning. "Hij is natuurlijk blij en opgelucht."
Toch zijn de problemen niet voorbij. Om uitlevering te ontlopen vluchtte hij in 2012 de ambassade van Ecuador in Londen binnen. Hij was daarvoor al door de Britten gearresteerd, maar in afwachting van een besluit op borgtocht vrijgelaten.
Als hij een stap buiten de Ecuadoriaanse ambassade zet, wordt hij opnieuw opgepakt voor het schenden van de borgtochtvoorwaarden. Mogelijk wordt hij dan alsnog aan de VS uitgeleverd.
Het is nog onduidelijk of dit iets te maken heeft met de vrijlating gisteren van de Amerikaanse Chelsea Manning. Manning zat vast wegens het lekken van Amerikaanse militaire documenten over de oorlog in Irak die op WikiLeaks werden gepubliceerd.
Assange zei in januari dat hij zich aan de VS wilde laten uitleveren als Manning daar zou vrijkomen. Aan die voorwaarde is nu voldaan.
quote:“In order to proceed with the case, Julian Assange would have to be formally notified of the criminal suspicions against him. We cannot expect to receive assistance from Ecuador regarding this. Therefore the investigation is discontinued.
“If he, at a later date, makes himself available, I will be able to decide to resume the investigation immediately.”
quote:UK prosecutors admit destroying key emails in Julian Assange case
Correspondence between CPS and its Swedish counterparts about WikiLeaks founder deleted after lawyer retired in 2014
The Crown Prosecution Service is facing embarrassment after admitting it destroyed key emails relating to the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy fighting extradition.
Email exchanges between the CPS and its Swedish counterparts over the high-profile case were deleted after the lawyer at the UK end retired in 2014.
The destruction of potentially sensitive and revealing information comes ahead of a tribunal hearing in London next week.
Adding to the intrigue, it emerged the CPS lawyer involved had, unaccountably, advised the Swedes in 2010 or 2011 not to visit London to interview Assange. An interview at that time could have prevented the long-running embassy standoff.
The CPS, responding to questions from the Guardian, denied there were any legal implications of the data loss for an Assange case if it were to come to court in the future. Asked if the CPS had any idea what was destroyed, a spokesperson said: “We have no way of knowing the content of email accounts once they have been deleted.”
Assange, whose WikiLeaks has been involved in a series of controversial leaks that include the Iraq war logs, US state department cables and Democratic party emails, was wanted by Sweden as part of a preliminary investigation into rape allegations. Sweden dropped the investigation in May.
Detractors of Assange, who sought refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in 2012, accuse him of collaborating with Russian propagandists in undermining Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency and helping Donald Trump secure it.
Supporters of Assange fear he could have been extradited to the US from Sweden and might yet from the UK. The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said this year Assange was a priority for the justice department and US federal prosecutors are believed to be considering charges against him over the leaks.
The CPS data destruction was disclosed in a freedom of information (FOI) case being pursued by the Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi.
Maurizi, a reporter on La Repubblica who has covered WikiLeaks since 2009, has been pressing both the CPS and its Swedish counterpart for information relating to Assange and extradition.
Unhappy over the limited material released so far, she is taking her case against the CPS to an information tribunal on Monday and Tuesday.
“It is incredible to me these records about an ongoing and high-profile case have been destroyed. I think they have something to hide,” Maurizi said.
She is keen to establish how much influence the UK had in the decision of the Swedish authorities at the time not to travel to London to interview Assange. She is also looking for evidence of US involvement in extradition moves.
She unearthed two years ago, through an FOI request to the Swedish prosecutors, an email from a lawyer in the CPS extradition unit on 25 January 2011 saying: “My earlier advice remains, that in my view it would not be prudent for the Swedish authorities to try to interview the defendant in the UK.”
The sentence was redacted in the email obtained by Maurizi from the CPS under an FOI request but not when it was released under an FOI request from the Swedish prosecutors.
Assange declined to travel to Sweden at the time, expressing fear it was a ruse that could pave the way for his extradition to the US. His lawyers offered a compromise in which Swedish investigators could interview him in person in London or by a video link, but the Swedish authorities did not take up the offer at the time.
A legal manager at the CPS, Mohammed Cheema, who has been dealing with the FOI requests, said, in a lengthy witness statement in August this year, that the Assange case file comprises mainly 55 lever-arch files, one A4 file and a selection of other paper files.
He added it was very unlikely the CPS held further significant email correspondence.
But just 11 days before the hearing, Cheema sent a further statement saying a search of electronic records found data associated with the lawyer who had been in touch with the Swedish prosecutors “was deleted when he retired and cannot be recovered”. He retired in March 2014.
Jennifer Robinson, a Doughty Street chambers barrister, and Estelle Dehon, who specialises in freedom of information, will be representing Maurizi at the tribunal.
Robinson, who has also represented Assange, said: “The missing information raises concerns about the Crown Prosecution Service’s data retention policy and what internal mechanisms are in place to review their conduct of this case in light of the fact the UK has been found to have breached its international obligations.”
A United Nations panel last year found Assange had been arbitrarily detained by the UK and Sweden.
Robinson said: “The CPS has disclosed some material which is very limited. We know there is more.”
She added: “Serious questions must be asked about the role of the CPS. Had the Swedes interviewed Assange back in 2010 one wonders whether this case would have continued for such a long time.”
The Swedes had interviewed many other people in the UK in relation to other cases, Robinson said. “We had been offering the Swedish prosecutors Assange’s testimony since October 2010. We didn’t know at the time that the CPS was advising them not to take up the offer.”
The CPS spokesperson, in response to a question from the Guardian why such important documents were destroyed, said the email account was deleted following retirement in accordance with standard procedure.
Asked if it was CPS policy that documents relating to live court cases should be destroyed, the spokesperson said: “The individual to whom you refer was a lawyer in the CPS extradition unit discussing matters relating to extradition proceedings which concluded in 2012. The case was, therefore, not live when the email account was deleted.”
He added: “Most casework papers and related material are stored for three years following the conclusion of proceedings, or for the duration of the convicted defendant’s sentence plus three months. In some cases material may be held for longer.”
quote:WikiLeaks recognised as a 'media organisation' by UK tribunal
Definition by the UK information tribunal may assist in Julian Assange’s defence against US extradition on grounds of press freedom
A British tribunal has recognised Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks as a “media organisation”, a point of contention with the United States, which is seeking to prosecute him and disputes his journalistic credentials.
The issue of whether Assange is a journalist and publisher would almost certainly be one of the main battlegrounds in the event of the US seeking his extradition from the UK.
The definition of WikiLeaks by the information tribunal, which is roughly equivalent to a court, could help Assange’s defence against extradition on press freedom grounds.
The US has been considering prosecution of Assange since 2010 when WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands of confidential US defence and diplomatic documents. US attorney general Jeff Sessions said in April this year that the arrest of Assange is a priority for the US.
The director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, after leaks of emails from the US Democratic party and from Hillary Clinton, described WikiLeaks as “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia”. He added Assange is not covered by the US constitution, which protects journalists.
But the UK’s information tribunal, headed by judge Andrew Bartlett QC, in a summary and ruling published on Thursday on a freedom of information case, says explicitly: “WikiLeaks is a media organisation which publishes and comments upon censored or restricted official materials involving war, surveillance or corruption, which are leaked to it in a variety of different circumstances.”
The comment is made under a heading that says simply: “Facts”.
Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been granted diplomatic asylum.
The tribunal’s definition of WikiLeaks comes in the 21-page summary into a freedom of information case heard in London in November. An Italian journalist, Stefania Maurizi, is seeking the release of documents relating to Assange, mainly in regard to extradition, and had lodged an appeal with the tribunal.
While the tribunal dismissed her appeal, it acknowledged there issues weighing in favour of public disclosure in relation to Assange. But it added these were outweighed by a need for confidentiality on the matter of extradition.
The UK Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the US justice department have refused to confirm or deny whether they have discussed extradition of Assange.
Maurizi, likely to take her appeal to a higher tribunal, welcomed Bartlett’s acceptance of WikiLeaks as a media organisation but argued the tribunal should have gone a step further by pushing the CPS to confirm whether the US has lodged an extradition request.
“If such a request were made, the UK would not be assisting the US to extradite a narco, a mafia boss, or a drug kingpin. It would being assisting the US to extradite a media publisher to prosecute him and his media organisation for their publications,” she said.
The tribunal also looked at the destruction by the CPS of emails relating to Assange. It said the deletion took place when a CPS lawyer retired and it had been believed all significant case papers were collated separately from his email account.
The tribunal said: “We conclude that there was nothing untoward in the deletion of the email account.”
Maurizi had put in FOI requests for information relating to communications between the UK and Sweden, where prosecutors were investigating sexual assault allegations against Assange which have since been dropped. Supporters of Assange feared that if he want to Sweden, the US would seek to extradite him from there.
Maurizi also pressed for disclosure of any communications by the CPS and the US to extradite Assange directly from the UK.
Estelle Dehon, who specialises in freedom of information and who represented Maurizi at the tribunal, said that while disappointed with the overall ruling, she welcomed some of the findings.
“Progress has been made because the tribunal accepted that the circumstances of the case raise issues of human rights and press freedom and also agreed that there is a significant public interest in disclosing the information, in particular to increase understanding of how the CPS handled the extradition process and its relationship with a foreign prosecuting authority, “ Dehon said.