A federal grand jury indicted Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act for his alleged role in illegally obtaining receiving and disclosing classified information.
In 2009, WikiLeaks posted a detailed list of the “Most Wanted Leaks” organized by country, including seeking military and intelligence documents from the US. The indictment said: “[Assange] predicated his and Wikileaks’s success in part upon encouraging sources with access to such information to violate legal obligations and provide that information for WikiLeaks to disclose.” Not only did the leaks create security risks but also identified human sources, endangering their lives.
Assange was complicit with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst, in obtaining and releasing national defense documents. President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence.
Assange is currently in prison serving 25 weeks of a 50-week sentence in the UK after hiding in the Embassy of Ecuador in London for almost seven years.
Assange was previously indicted on hacking charges.