Wednesday September 4 2013
– WikiLeaks publisher and Senate candidate Julian Assange has lodged a formal complaint asking Swedish police to open a criminal investigation of alleged illegal United States intelligence activity in Europe directed against WikiLeaks and himself.
Mr Assange also says that “through an intelligence source” he became aware that an Australian intelligence organisation responded to a Swedish Security Service request for information about himself in August 2010.
In a signed affidavit Mr Assange presents evidence in relation to US military intelligence investigations into WikiLeaks and himself as far back as 2009 and US Federal Bureau of Investigation searches as recently as 2012-13.
The 186-page document lodged by Mr Assange’s lawyers with Swedish police on Sunday reviews evidence of US intelligence and criminal investigations targeting WikiLeaks, including details disclosed in the trial of US Army private Bradley Manning (now known as Chelsea Manning) who last month was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic reports.
The affidavit also highlights previously unreported events including physical surveillance of Mr Assange by US military intelligence at a conference in Berlin in December 2009 and the suspected illegal seizure on September 27th, 2010, of the WikiLeaks publisher’s suitcase while he was flying from Stockholm to Berlin in 2010.
Mr Assange alleges the lost luggage carried three laptops containing WikiLeaks information, data and communications between WikiLeaks and the organisation’s lawyers. Mr Assange believes his suitcase may have been “seized unlawfully, as part of an intelligence operation with the purpose of gathering information”.
Mr Assange refers to reports that the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation assisted the US FBI espionage probe directed against himself.
It is a matter of public record that the US government began a criminal investigation focused on WikiLeaks and Mr Assange in 2010. Australian diplomatic cables released to Fairfax Media under freedom-of-information laws revealed that senior US justice Department officials described the investigation as being “unprecedented in scale and nature”.
Mr Assange has been identified by US prosecutors as an alleged co-conspirator, guiding and directing Private Manning’s disclosure of classified information. The US Justice Department recently confirmed that its investigation of WikiLeaks is active and ongoing.
“I file this affidavit in the knowledge that there will likely be pressures for this matter not to be investigated, but in the knowledge that the law requires an investigation. I request that Swedish judicial authorities act swiftly to question and arrest if necessary those who are likely to have information about or bear criminal responsibility for the actions taken against WikiLeaks and my person,” the affidavit states.
– Philip Dorling