US lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have announced they have filed a lawsuit against the CIA and its former director Mike Pompeo, accusing them of recording their conversations and copying content from their phones and computers.
The lawyers and two journalists who joined the lawsuit are Americans, and they claim that the CIA violated their constitutional right to the protection of private conversations, in this case with Assange, who is Australian.
Assange faces extradition
They claim that the CIA worked with the security firm Undercover Global, which was hired by the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange was holed up, to spy on him, as well as his lawyers, journalists and other people he met with.
He has been imprisoned since he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019. Assange is threatened with extradition from Britain to the US, where he is accused of publishing diplomatic documents about the war on Afghanistan and Iraq in 2010.
According to lawyer Richard Roth, who represents the prosecutors, this means that Assange's right to a fair trial has been "violated, if not nullified" because "the government knows the content of those conversations."
Assange appealed the British court's decision to extradite him to the US, where he faces up to 175 years in prison. “Visitors who are lawyers, journalists and doctors frequently carry confidential information in their devices.
“They had a reasonable expectation that the security guards at the Ecuadorian embassy in London would not be US government spies charged with delivering copies of their electronics to the CIA”. Assange’s wife, Stella Moris Assange, said: “Julian’s young boys miss their father.
Not in my worst nightmares could I have ever envisioned the ferocity of attacks against Julian and the entitled arrogance and ‘above the law’ actions that are being carried out against my husband”. More than 40 human rights organisations including Amnesty International have called for Assange’s release.