The conversations between Julian Assange and his lawyers illicitly recorded by the Spanish security company UC Global at the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where the founder of WikiLeaks took refuge for years, could have been handed over to agents of the United States secret services , according to an order from Santiago Pedraz, the judge of the National High Court who is investigating this espionage case.
The sending to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or to the US authorities of the details on the cyberactivist’s defense strategy, for which the US requests his extradition from the United Kingdom, appears reflected in a Pedraz order to which he has had access THE COUNTRY. In it, the judge argues to the British authorities why he needs to take statements as witnesses from the British lawyers and Assange’s doctors who were spied on. Among them Gareth Peirce, 82, the famous British lawyer from the movie In the name of the Father played by Emma Thompson.
The judge sent a European investigation order (OEI) to the British justice more than two years ago, which is reluctant to collaborate, and has requested extensions of information sent months ago without yet getting a response. The OEI is a judicial cooperation tool to streamline cooperation between judges and overcome tedious letters rogatory. But in this case this is not the case and the British justice system is blocking the investigation.
The British lawyers spied on at the headquarters of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London by order of David Morales, the former Spanish military owner of UC Global, whom Pedraz asks to question, are the same ones who now defend Assange in the extradition request to the US UU that a British judge has just approved. The Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, one of the toughest in the Boris Johnson government, has two months to make the final decision. The United States accuses Assange of 18 alleged crimes, which could increase sentences to up to 175 years in prison, for the information on secret military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq that the organization revealed of her classified material. Since his expulsion in 2019 from the Ecuadorian Embassy, the Australian remains a prisoner in a London jail.
The demonstration that the US intelligence services learned of the Australian cyberactivist’s defense strategy by spying on his lawyers could annul the extradition by questioning the illegal methods used by the US to try Assange in his country, according to legal sources. If Spain is allowed to take a statement in a London court as US victims of the WikiLeaks founder’s lawyers and doctors who are defending the extradition case, British justice would be left in an embarrassing situation, according to the same sources. It could be argued that the process was flawed by having violated the right of defense by the country requesting delivery.
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In exposing the alleged illicit activities of David Morales to the United Kingdom, the judge of the National High Court directly points to the US intelligence agencies or the authorities of that country as recipients of the conversations of the spies, dozens of people between which were the lawyers, doctors, journalists, diplomats, relatives and friends of the activist.
“The information obtained illegally could have been delivered to third parties or institutions, among which authorities of the Republic of Ecuador itself, intermediaries in the United States, and agents of the secret services and / or authorities of the United States, would mainly be found. State currently requesting the extradition of the plaintiff Mr. Assange”, says the order. “The information would have been delivered, in addition to physical trips, also through the creation of an FTP server (at the company’s headquarters in Jerez de la Frontera), a subsequent web portal with restricted access to [direcciones] IP, mainly located in the United States,” says Pedraz.
According to the evidence provided by a former computer scientist of this company, today a protected witness, the ISP (the internet service provider) of one of the IPs (unique address that identifies a device on the Internet) that accessed the server of the Spanish company corresponds to the American security company The Shadowserver Foundation. This entity assists US governments, law enforcement and intelligence agencies in Internet security and crime, according to its website. Other addresses point to IP addresses in Texas, Arizona, Illinois, and California.
The judicial investigation into the director of UC Global and the activities of his company was ordered by Judge José de la Mata, whom Pedraz replaced, and began weeks after EL PAÍS revealed the videos, audios and reports showing that This company spied on the cyberactivist’s meetings with his lawyers and collaborators. Morales allegedly facilitated these and other conversations for US intelligence services.
After the investigation of this newspaper, Assange filed a complaint against Morales, who was arrested and accused of crimes against privacy, violation of the secrecy of communications between lawyer and client, bribery and money laundering. Several protected witnesses have testified against Morales and claim that the US had access to all the material seized during the espionage on Assange and his lawyers. The former soldier, a former member of the Marine Infantry Special Operations Unit, denies the facts.
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