Assange Lawyers File Petition to Get US to Reveal Charges and Stop Ecuador From Extraditing Him

Lawyers for the WikiLeaks publisher want the OAS independent body to keep Assange from being sent to a courtroom in the U.S. and to end his isolation.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Julian Assange’s lawyers have filed an urgent petition to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) to stop Ecuador from extraditing him to the United States and to pressure the U.S. to reveal its sealed charges against the WikiLeaks publisher, WikiLeaks said on Wednesday.

His lawyers also applied to the IACHR to get Ecuador to end its surveillance of Assange and “to stop the isolation imposed on him,” according to the 1,172-page filing.

“The application by Mr. Assange’s lawyers identifies a raft of legal obligations that the U.S. and Ecuador are flouting in their treatment of Mr. Assange,” WikiLeaks said in a statement. “The lawyers document Trump Administration attempts to pressure Ecuador to hand over Mr. Assange, notably recent serious overt threats against Ecuador made by senior U.S. political figures, unlike the more veiled threats made in the past.”

The IACHR is an autonomous part of the Organization of American States (OAS) to promote and protect human rights. Its decisions are not legally binding on OAS member states. But it can create political embarrassment for states that are found to have committed human rights violations.

“The calls to extradite Mr. Assange to the United States, as the result of his work as a publisher and editor, is the reason Mr. Assange obtained political asylum at Ecuador’s embassy in London in August 2012,” WikiLeaks said.  

Baltasar Garzón, the international coordinator of Assange’s legal team, called for “international solidarity for this case in which the right to access and impart information freely is in jeopardy,” the statement said.  

A decision whether to unseal the details of an indictment against Assange is held up in a courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia. In November, Judge Leonie Brinkema delayed her decision for what she said would be a week.  

The WikiLeaks petition to the IACHR  also “reveals for the first time that U.S. federal prosecutors have in the last few months formally approached people in the United States, Germany and Iceland and pressed them to testify against Mr. Assange in return for immunity from prosecution,” the WikiLeaks statement said.

“Those approached are associated with WikiLeaks’ joint publications with other media about U.S. diplomacy, Guantanamo bay and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said the statement.

The Trump administration “is clearly intent on using the prosecution of Julian Assange as an ‘icebreaker’ to set a dangerous precedent that would enable the prosecution of most serious media organizations,” according to WikiLeaks. It added that the threats against Assange have “significantly increased” since WikiLeaks published the “Vault 7” CIA documents, “the largest leak of CIA classified information in history.”  

The petition points out espionage activity against Assange in the embassy by private security firms contracted by Ecuador “which, instead of being involved in protecting the asylee, have spied on Mr. Assange and his visitors.”  The private firms have been acting as informants to the FBI, WikiLeaks said, citing media reports.

Ecuador is required to end the regime of isolation imposed on Mr. Assange, suspending the application of the so-called special protocol and guaranteeing his rights as an asylee will be respected in full,” the filing said. 

 Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .



10 comments for “Assange Lawyers File Petition to Get US to Reveal Charges and Stop Ecuador From Extraditing Him

  1. Esteleen
    January 26, 2019 at 12:07

    This is stunning! Off with their heads! This journal clearly demonstrates the pervasive infection of US Imperialism and it must end, now.

  2. Jesús
    January 24, 2019 at 16:25

    Las democracias occidentales No son democracias , los poderosos no cumplen sus propias leyes ,Assange es un periodista que publicó
    una información verdadera , como A los poderes norteamericanos no les gusta lo publicado lo quieren juzgar , no por mentir , solo para vengarse .

  3. Jeff Harrison
    January 24, 2019 at 11:28

    Another fine example of why the US isn’t actually “The Leader of the Free World”. The US governments wouldn’t know freedom if it came up and kicked Trump in the ass.

  4. Sam F
    January 23, 2019 at 21:23

    I recall Baltasar Garzón as a judge in Spain with a distinguished record of international human rights actions including Latin America, a very appropriate person to head this action. That Garzón correctly states that “the right to access and impart information freely is in jeopardy,” while the Virginia federal judge Brinkema delayed her decision indefinitely, shows the abject corruption of the US federal judiciary, none of whom are more than paid party operatives and tribal careerists.

    • Sam F
      January 23, 2019 at 21:33

      What the US needs desperately is a database of federal judges who care about justice, if there are any. I have known over 40 federal judges out of 900, and not a single one cared for constitutional rights in any context to the least degree. They look at the parties to a case and decide solely upon politics and prejudice who will win. Then they let the favored side’s lawyer write an excuse, and rubberstamp that. So if there are any real judges out there, the great cases of the future will depend solely upon identifying them and getting cases to them. I doubt that there is a single one. I hope that someone will prove me wrong, and guide me to a federal judge who is not corrupt. Or else produce a directory of judges with the typical bribes accepted and channels of influence.

      • Frederike
        January 24, 2019 at 21:52

        ‘I have known over 40 federal judges out of 900, and not a single one cared for constitutional rights in any context to the least degree. ‘
        I don’t understand. What do they care about? If constitutional rights are what they are expected to study and supposedly enforce, what is the point of appointing them? It seems to me that they have no intention to serve justice, but to get a large salary to support their mediocrity, or deceit.

        How utterly depressing.

        • Sam F
          January 25, 2019 at 07:21

          Yes, it is so sad that people rebel and decide not to listen, or to disagree without cause.

          Of course, the judges care for their careerist oligarchy rhetoric and decide to “believe” it. When the oligarchy “winner” is selected, if upholding constitutional rights would rationalize the decision, they write a sonorous opinion in favor of our sacred rights, and can produce that to pretend to be civilized. But otherwise it never occurs to them to consider the constitution or the laws, or even their own past decisions. Money and those who have it, and the right-wing rationales for oligarchy, are always the deciding factors.

      • Curious
        January 25, 2019 at 00:42

        A good post Sam F,

        Whatever one feels about or RT, or Jesse Ventura his end of the year show featured an interview with John Kiriakou, the only CIA person put in prison NOT for the crimes of torture, but exposing those crimes. The case was tried in the ‘espionage court’ of Leonie Brinkema, the same court who has a sealed verdict on Assange pre-trial. Justice in America. The interesting part is they have a 100% percent virdict average. How is this possible? You mention “real judges”. Where are they?

        John went on to mention whistleblowers lose their cases on a 98.2% average which left John fighting for a measly %1.8 percent in his case. This is unconscienceable as any legal precedent. His 70 motions were simply thrown out as the court said “we will save everyone a lot of time” This is not justice. This is more than just a “rubber stamp”, this is collusion in the highest courts.

        Since John can’t find work in the upper escelons of our own government (not that he would want to he says) he was hired by Greece to write legislature for whistleblowers in Greece. Since the word was not common in the Greek language they came up with a definition we should all agree with and used as a moral basis for our own whistleblowers, namely:
        – Guardian of the public trust
        – or threats to waste, fraud, abuse, illegality, or threats to the public healt or public safety.

        This seems like a very coherent and important definition often overlooked by many judges (and Sam F should know).

        I don’t think you have been proven wrong Sam F, but unfortunately very correct and the problem is getting worse. A database of judges and their rulings would be a good start to inform a populace who are kept in the dark (in camera) for a reason.

        Thanks for your thoughts and may it break the secrecy once and for all.

        • Sam F
          January 25, 2019 at 07:32

          Thank you. If I have time later I will respond on the fate of the “Guardian of the public trust.”

          • Curious
            January 28, 2019 at 15:08

            Sam F,
            Pardons the typos (ipad thunder thumbs). I’m looking forward to how you embellish “Guardian of the public trust”
            It seems the definition is forgotten by most or simply ignored by rampant amnesia.

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