Julian Assange indictment by United States prosecutors revealed by 'error'

US Prosecutors Reportedly Optimistic About Bringing Julian Assange to Court

Assange has been residing in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 when he fled there to avoid prosecution by the Swedish authorities in a sex assault case.

The United States government has charged - under seal - Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, The Washington Post reported late Thursday evening.

However the US Mueller inquiry into alleged Russian election interference has suggested that WikiLeaks was used by Russian intelligence to distribute hacked material. Later, Dwyer wrote the charges would "need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested".

WikiLeaks is under investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, for publishing thousands of emails stolen from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

The document, which prosecutors insist was filed by mistake, asks a judge to seal documents in a criminal case unrelated to Assange, and carries markings indicating it was originally filed in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia in August.

The prosecutor later says that "due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged".

"That was not the intended name for this filing", he said. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, though, had taken a more aggressive stance and vowed to crack down on all government leaks. It was filed in the case of a man named Seitu Sulayman Kokayi. He was detained, according to a court filing, because he "has a substantial interest in terrorist acts" that may be related to convictions against his father-in-law.

The case had been sealed until early September, though by itself it attracted little notice.

The Washington Post, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that the unintentional disclosure about Assange being charged is true, but was a not meant to be disclosed.

Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London since seeking asylum in 2012, is considered a wanted man by United States law enforcement agencies after his controversial publication of classified diplomatic cables and other secret U.S. government documents.

Wikileaks tweeted the revelation was an "apparent cut-and-paste error".

When he first sought asylum in the embassy, he was facing possible extradition to Sweden in a sex crimes case.

USA officials had no comment on the disclosure and it is unclear what charges Assange faces.

But British police have said they still intend to arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy because he broke his conditions for bail by taking refuge there.

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