Key accusations within the case in opposition to Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, who faces as much as 175 years in jail if extradited to the US, are reportedly primarily based on testimony from convicted fraudster who admitted to media he was mendacity.
Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, Icelandic citizen and former Wikileaks volunteer turned FBI informant for $5,000, has admitted to Icelandic newspaper Stundin that he fabricated vital elements of the accusations within the indictment.
In an article printed on Saturday, Stundin particulars a number of events of Thordarson now denying his personal testimony, claiming that Assange by no means instructed him to hold out any hacking.
The newspaper factors out that despite the fact that a courtroom in London has denied extradition of Assange to the US on humanitarian grounds, it nonetheless sided with the US when it got here to claims primarily based on Thordarson’s now-denied testimony. As an example, the ruling says that “Mr. Assange and Teenager failed a joint try to decrypt a file stolen from a “NATO nation 1” financial institution,” the place “NATO nation 1” is believed to consult with Iceland, whereas “Teenager” – to Thordarson himself.
Nonetheless, he now reportedly claims that the file in query cannot precisely be thought of “stolen” because it was assumed to have been distributed and leaked by whistleblowers contained in the financial institution and on the time many individuals on-line had been making an attempt to decrypt it. That is as a result of it allegedly contained details about defaulted loans offered by Icelandic Landsbanki, the autumn of which in 2008 led to a serious financial disaster within the nation.
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Thordarson additionally offered the publication with chat logs from his time volunteering for Wikileaks in 2010 and 2011, exhibiting his frequent requests for hackers to both assault or get data from Icelandic entities and web sites. However, in line with Stundin, not one of the logs present that Thordarson was requested to do this by anybody inside Wikileaks. What they do present, in line with the newspaper, are fixed makes an attempt by the group’s volunteer to inflate his place, describing himself as chief of workers or head of communications.
In 2012, Wikileaks filed legal expenses in opposition to Thordarson over embezzlement and monetary fraud. He was later sentenced for each in Iceland.
Stundin additionally cites Ogmundur Jonasson, then-minister of inside of Iceland, who says US authorities had been going out of their method to get Assange.
They had been making an attempt to make use of issues right here [in Iceland] and use individuals in our nation to spin an online, a cobweb that may catch Julian Assange.
The newspaper claims that Thordarson’s testimony is vital for prosecution’s line portraying Assange as a legal, moderately than a journalist publishing materials protected by the First Modification, like The New York Occasions or different media that shared the identical paperwork as Wikileaks.
Reacting to the bombshell article by Stundin, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted: “That is the tip of the case in opposition to Julian Assange.” Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald agreed, saying: “It needs to be.”
It needs to be. https://t.co/PhTi8PIKLJ
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 26, 2021
Assange has spent greater than two years behind bars at Belmarsh jail within the UK. The US authorities has charged the Australian journalist underneath the Espionage Act, accusing him of leaking labeled data in 2010. On the time, WikiLeaks printed paperwork detailing abuses, together with potential conflict crimes, carried out by the US army in Afghanistan and Iraq. Washington is at present searching for his extradition, and Assange could possibly be jailed for as much as 175 years if discovered responsible.
At the start of June, UN Particular Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer known as on the UK authorities to launch the journalist, condemning his incarceration as “one of many greatest judicial scandals in historical past.”
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