On Monday Julian Assange's defense team told a London court that the United States plotted to assassinate the WikiLeaks founder.
After describing US intelligence attempts to plant “intrusive and sophisticated” secret surveillance devices in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Assange had been living under asylum for seven years, Assange's attorney Edward Fitzgerald told the court according to an explosive Daily Mail report published Tuesday:
“There were conversations about whether there should be more extreme measures contemplated, such as kidnapping or poisoning Julian Assange in the embassy.”
The plot is alleged to have involved a private Spanish security company named UC Global, reportedly acting on behalf of the US authorities, which was engaged in eavesdropping on Assange and his visitors who entered the Ecuadorian embassy to meet privately with him. Officially the firm was in charge of protecting the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Prior reports say live-stream audio and video devices were secretly hidden inside the embassy, and supplemented what could be picked up by laser microphones from outside. Court documents detailing UC Global SL's illegal operation were previously presented to Spain’s High Court.
The new disturbing allegations which came out during the first day of the WikiLeaks' founder extradition hearing involved scenarios wherein a "kidnapping" or killing could be made to look like an "accident".
US wanted to kill WikiLeaks founder and make it look like accident:https://t.co/HsR7DebDxx— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 25, 2020
Fitzgerald made reference to a “Witness Two” who revealed UC Global owner David Morales — a former Spanish military officer — discussed the "extreme measures". The witness was among a group of whistleblowers who previously came forward to testify against illegal and shady practices of the Spanish security firm.
Witness Two detailed that Morales “said the Americans were desperate and had even suggested more extreme measures could be applied against the guest to put an end to the situation,” Fitzgerald told the court.
Fitzgerald read the witness statement in court, which according to The Daily Mail also included the following:
He said there was a suggestion the embassy door could be left open to make a kidnapping look like it could have been 'an accident', adding 'even the possibility of poisoning had been discussed'.
Giving credence to the newly revealed alleged plot, it must be remembered that in 2017 while Assange was still holed up in the embassy, then CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in a speech before a Washington think tank audience that he deems WikiLeaks a "hostile intelligence service".
"It is time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia," Pompeo said.
This was widely interpreted as a sign the CIA considered Assange and WikiLeaks members as fair game for assassination or kidnapping, given Pompeo essentially declared them "enemy agents" of the US.
Julian Assange and his Australian lawyers were secretly recorded in Ecuador's London embassyhttps://t.co/5x8gN4DTgK— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 23, 2020
Two years following these remarks, the Spanish-language daily newspaper El País revealed the major surveillance plot targeting Assange while in the embassy:
Documents and videos revealed by EL PAÍS in July, months before Assange took legal action against Morales, show that UC Global SL spied on the cyber-activist’s conversations with his lawyers, at meetings where they were designing his defense strategy to avoid extradition to the US. Morales allegedly delivered these and other conversations to US intelligence services, this newspaper revealed. Morales was arrested and released pending trial to face charges of violation of client-attorney privilege and illegal arms possession.
ABC News Australia also days ago published spy footage it obtained from inside the embassy showing:
"Julian Assange's conversations, including legally privileged meetings with Australian lawyers Geoffrey Robertson, Jennifer Robinson and Melinda Taylor, [which] were secretly recorded inside his London embassy home."
During his last months and years in the embassy, Assange was said to be deeply worried he was being recorded by WikiLeaks' enemies, at times going so far as to sleep in a tent in his room so his every movement couldn't be captured.
He was rightly paranoid in part because the US and UK have long charged that Assange "put lives at risk" in previously releasing hundreds of thousands of government top secret files related to wars and covert operations especially across the Middle East, which gained international attention. He's now awaiting potential extradition to the US while under horrible conditions at London's notorious Belmarsh prison.