The Latest: AP Source: Sealed charges filed against Assange
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Wikileaks founder (all times local):
The Justice Department has filed charges under seal against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
That’s according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no charges have been publicly announced. It was not clear what the charges were or when they might be made public.
The fact that charges had been prepared was disclosed in an errant court filing in an unrelated case that was recently unsealed and that contained Assange’s name.
The filing said charges and an arrest warrant “would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.”
A spokesman for the Eastern District of Virginia, which has been handling the investigation, has said the filing was made in error and was not supposed to have his name in it.
The Justice Department inadvertently named Julian Assange in a court filing in an unrelated case that raised questions about whether the WikiLeaks founder had been charged under seal.
Assange’s name appears twice in an August filing from a prosecutor in Virginia in a separate case involving a man accused of coercing a minor.
The prosecutor wrote the charges “would need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition.”
It wasn’t immediately clear why Assange’s name was mentioned. A Justice Department spokesman said the filing was made in error.
The Washington Post, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that Assange had indeed been charged. The Associated Press couldn’t immediately confirm that.