The US Department of Justice (DOJ) today filed a new indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
"The new indictment [PDF] does not add additional offenses to the previous indictment against Assange filed in May 2019 ″, the DOJ said in a press release.
The new indictment clarifies the depth of Assange's alleged crimes by expanding the initial charges to include some more serious allegations that the WikiLeaks founder conspired and tried to recruit a hacker from Anonymous and LulzSec to hack on his behalf.
"In 2012, Assange was in direct contact with one of the leaders of the LulzSec team (who worked with the FBI) And provided a list of targets for LulzSec. In connection with a goal, Assange asked the LulzSec leader to look for (and make available on WikiLeaks) mail and documents, databases, and PDFs.
"In another communication, Assange told the LulzSec leader that the best releases would be data from the CIA, NSA or the New York Times.
"WikiLeaks has received and published emails from data breaches committed against an American intelligence consulting firm by Anonymous and LulzSec hackers. According to this hacker, Assange indirectly asked him to hit the company. "
These accusations add to the previous ones that want Assange to conspire with the military analyst Chelsea Manning to crack a password on a military computer to obtain classified material, which he later published in WikiLeaks.
Assange has been in the UK since April 2019 when London authorities arrested the founder of WikiLeaks for breach of warranty. On the same day, the United States filed an extradition request. The American authorities informed the indictment in May 2019 and today for the second time.
Several journalists have criticized the US for prosecuting Assange, claiming that it simply published a leak of documents and had the right to defend itself against the first amendment to the US Constitution.
With the new indictment, the DOJ is trying to clarify that the allegations concern more than just a publication of the leaks.