US attempts to take Assange into legal grip proving futile
Attempts by the US to legally nab Julian Assange are proving to be unsuccessful as prosecutors have failed to find evidence that the WikiLeaks founder in any way forced Army private Bradley Manning to leak govt documents.
New York: Attempts by the US to legally
nab Julian Assange are proving to be unsuccessful as
prosecutors have failed to find evidence that the WikiLeaks
founder in any way forced Army private Bradley Manning to leak
Manning, the 22-year-old army intelligence operative,
suspected of leaking the documents to Assange, is being
detained at a military installation in Virginia.
New evidence suggests that Manning initiated the theft
himself, officials told The Wall Street Journal.
A further blow to investigators is that there is
reportedly little to find a connection.
Earlier this year, the 39-year-old Australian computer
hacker was catapulted into global spotlight when WikiLeaks
released thousands of secret documents on the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan as well as a flood of State Department cables.
Since then, the US government has been trying to
prosecute Assange for espionage but no specific charges
against him have been framed.
The former Australian hacker has argued that all the
actions taken by his organisation are protected under the
First Amendment that protects free speech in America.
To make a case against Assange, the US lawyers would
have to prove that he encouraged Manning to hand over the
"Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Justice
Department lawyers continue to gather evidence for a possible
conspiracy charge against Mr Assange, but that`s a harder case
to make," WSJ said, citing government officials.
"Army investigators now believe Pfc. Manning decided
to steal the documents and give them to WikiLeaks on his own,
out of his own malice toward the military or the government,"
the newspaper reported, citing a senior US official.
Meanwhile, Assange attended the second day of
extradition proceedings in the UK.
The WikiLeaks founder is wanted by Sweden, which is
investigating charges of sexual-assault allegations against
Last month, Assange warned that if a number of people
from his organisation were "assassinated or imprisoned," a
large number of "encrypted keys" containing large amounts of
secret information would be released.
"There are backups distributed amongst many, many
people, 100,000 people and all we need to do is give them an
encrypted key and they will be able to continue on," he said
in a television interview with CBS.