Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks will not face any charges for leaking the CIA’s Vault 7, a series of documents on the intelligence agency’s digital code that was used to hack devices. According to a U.S official and two more sources familiar to the case, Assange will not be facing any punishment for orchestrating the most devastating leak in the history of CIA.
Several prosecutors and officials have aggressively chased Assange on hopes of imprisoning and charging him under the ‘Espionage Act’ charges. However, some legal experts have pointed out that the charges won’t hold up against him in the court. The Justice Department’s move to acquit Julian Assange has raised eyebrows of several national security experts, former officials and more.
According to law experts, there are a myriad of factors behind taking such a decision and it is taken so, to essentially protect the CIA from further being exposed and forced into authenticating and revealing more information on Vault 7 due to the prosecution of this case.
On top of this, the US government is finding it painstaking to extradite Assange from the United Kingdom, the country he is currently held in.
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“There is no question that there are leak cases that can’t be prosecuted against the leaker or the leakee because the information is so sensitive that, for your proof at trial, you would have to confirm it is authentic. So the irony, often, is that the higher the classification of the leaked material, the harder it is to prosecute,” said Mary McCord, a former acting assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice – according to Politico.
While the CIA refused to officially authenticate the leaks or confirm any of the exposed information, many insiders believe that all the leaks were authentic and official. As the case requires the CIA to authenticate and thoroughly address several aspects of the leaked material, it is believed that the government is hesitant to undergo such an ordeal and expose the agency further.
Instead, it is reported that the Justice Department will press charges against Assange for assisting Manning as well as the 17-count Espionage Act indictment.