Hours after being removed from the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he had been holed up for seven years, U.S. prosecutors unveiled charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, alleging that he helped former U.S. Army soldier Chelsea Manning crack passwords in order to access a trove of classified computer documents which were then transferred to Wikileaks and released to the public.
“The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers,” prosecutors announced in the Eastern District of Virginia.
In the indictment unsealed on Thursday morning, federal prosecutors charged that Assange 'was not authorized to receive classified information of the United States.'
The indictment says Assange 'agreed to assist Manning' around March 8, 2010 in cracking the password, as Manning was downloading materials to send to Wikileaks.
The indictment of Assange includes quotes from exchanges between Manning and the Wikileaks founder, using the “Jabber” online chat service.
The indictment was dated March 6, 2018.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.