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US prosecutors disrupt Spanish probe into alleged CIA-linked firm which spied on Assange

11 Sep, 2020 14:43

US prosecutors are reportedly refusing to cooperate with a Spanish investigation into the company accused of spying on Julian Assange while he sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy, unless the judge accedes to a list of demands.

Judge Jose de la Mata of Spain’s High Court is conducting an ongoing investigation into UC Global. The firm was previously in charge of security at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and now stands accused of spying on WikiLeaks founder Assange and passing sensitive information to US intelligence. 

Testimony from witnesses, including former staff at UC Global, alleges that the company’s former owner, David Morales, furnished the CIA with recordings and reports of Assange’s daily activities and conversations while residing in the embassy. 

However, US prosecutors are frustrating the investigation into allegations that the firm spied on the journalist and collected details of his confidential communications with lawyers, politicians, relatives and fellow journalists. 

The prosecutors are demanding to know detailed information about the judge’s sources, as well as his current suspected recipients of the illegally obtained private information in the US, before they will cooperate with the investigation, El Pais is reporting. 

Judge de la Mata has asked US prosecutors for the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of all devices that are believed to have connected to UC Global’s server, based in the Spanish city of Jerez de la Frontera, from the US. 

This server is believed to have stored all of the illicit recordings made by cameras installed by the firm in the Ecuadorian embassy. It is also where reports detailing each and every one of Assange’s visitors, including photographs of their passports and assorted electronic devices, were kept.

According to testimony given during de la Mata’s investigations, US intelligence had access to this treasure trove of highly sensitive information. The prosecutors are now requesting proof that the requested IP addresses are “relevant and substantial to the investigation.”

Furthermore, the prosecutors have demanded answers to their questions before October 16 or else they “will assume that Spanish authorities are not interested.”

Morales, a former military serviceman, was exposed in 2019 and is currently under investigation for violating attorney-client privilege and privacy, as well as other related charges of bribery and money laundering. 

Meanwhile, Julian Assange’s extradition hearings have once again been postponed amid concerns that one of the lawyers involved has been infected with coronavirus.