A group of journalists and lawyers are suing the CIA and former CIA chief Mike Pompeo for spying on them. This happened, according to the prosecutors, during the visits of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
Under Pompeo, who later became Donald Trump’s secretary of state, the CIA allegedly violated the privacy rights of American journalists and lawyers. They must hand over their cell phones and laptops while visiting the Ecuadorean Embassy. Then the data from their phones and computers was allegedly copied by a security company hired by Ecuador and passed on to intelligence. Richard Roth, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, said this violates the US Constitution. They include investigative journalist John Goetz (including ARD) and author and journalist Charles Glass (including The New York Times Review of Books).
The US Department of Justice wants to prosecute the 51-year-old Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, over, among other things, the publication of classified military documents and espionage, for which he could be sentenced to a maximum of 175 years in prison. The Australian was said to have caused the deaths of US armed forces informants by leaking classified documents, according to the US. Assange hid in London for a long time at the Ecuadorean embassy, where he received his lawyers and journalists and had two children with his former lawyer, Stella Morris.
In 2019 he had to leave the embassy. He has been held since then in a London prison. The British government agreed to extradite him to the United States earlier this year. Assange appealed to the High Court in London to prevent this.
The CIA, which declined to comment on the lawsuit filed in New York, is not permitted by law to collect intelligence on American citizens. Attorney Roth said a fair trial in the United States was no longer possible. It is believed that the extradition request should be withdrawn.
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