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Who and how gave the CIA information about Assange’s removal from the Ecuadorian embassy Fox News

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“The charges against him must be dropped. The United States of America must protect the 1st Amendment and the freedom of the press. It is one of the greatest freedoms a nation can have,” Greene said. . A day earlier, it emerged that a member of the United States House of Representatives, Rashida Tlaib, was collecting signatures for a letter calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to stop the campaign to extradite Julian Assange to Israel. America. The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Intercept, is still in the signing phase and has not yet been sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland. Tlaib, seeking support, urged his colleagues to set aside their differences with Assange as a person and uphold the principle of press freedom enshrined in the US constitution.

Meanwhile, Spanish newspaper EL PAÍS has published new details of its journalistic investigation into who and how informed the CIA of Assange’s plans to secretly evacuate Assange to Ecuador while in the territory of the United States. country’s embassy in London.

Documents obtained by the newspaper show that the owner of the Spanish company UC Global, David Morales, sold data on the legal defense strategy of the founder of Wikileaks to a US intelligence agency. The US government quickly sent a warrant to Britain to thwart the activist’s escape plan.

It all started when Rommy Vallejo, head of SENAIN, the Ecuadorian secret service, hired UC Global, a small company from Jerez de la Frontera in southwestern Spain, to secure the Ecuadorian diplomatic corps in London. Little did he know that the entrepreneur not only has close ties with “American friends” but also plans to record his meeting with Assange at the London Embassy. Arriving in the British capital, Vallejo was due to meet Assange the next day to obtain confidential information that could affect the future of the cyber-activist.

By then, however, employees of the Spanish firm had installed hidden microphones throughout the embassy, ​​even in the women’s restrooms. And Morales sent information about Assange’s meetings with his lawyers to the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency shortly after taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.

At the time, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno ordered his staff, in contact with Assange’s Spanish lawyers, to draw up a plan to remove him from the embassy, ​​grant him Ecuadorian citizenship and issue him a diplomatic passport. . The plan was drawn up a few weeks before the Vallejo meeting. Only six people knew him. When UC Global cameras captured the meeting, which included Assange, his lawyer and future wife Stella Morris, Ecuadorian consul Fidel Narvaez, and Vallejo, news emerged that the escape would take place four days later: December 25. Assange will leave in one of the ambassador’s diplomatic cars and travel through the Eurotunnel to Switzerland or another destination in continental Europe.

Morales sent the data early in the morning to his “American friends” and the effect was immediate. The US quickly sent an arrest warrant to the UK for Assange, so the escape plan had to be called off. Two years later, Assange was expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy. In June 2022, the British government ordered his extradition to the United States. Since then, Assange has been held in the maximum security Belmarsh prison in London pending an appeal. The United States has charged him with 18 alleged crimes, for which you can get up to 175 years in prison.

But that’s not all. In the days leading up to Vallejo’s visit to London, two disturbing events took place. An adviser to the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry who had information about Assange’s escape was attacked by several hooded men at the airport in the country’s capital, Quito, after returning from an official trip to the United States . The only thing the attackers took was his computer. Then, in the early morning of December 17, several hooded assailants entered the Madrid offices of the famous former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón and his associate Aitor Martínez. The attackers took away the computer server. The lawyers have just returned from a meeting in London with Assange to prepare for his departure. Despite the numerous traces left by the thieves, the Spanish police have repeatedly stated that they have no information on the thieves.

From the investigation of the journalists of the Spanish newspaper, it became clear that the relationship of David Morales with his mysterious American clients, to whom he delivered Assange, was not built in a day. The former Spanish special forces soldier modeled his business on Blackwater, a private US military contractor active during the Iraq War. By the time he was hired to guard the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Morales already had a client of American billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s casino company, Las Vegas Sands. He provided personal security for the gambling mogul while relaxing on his Mediterranean yacht. It was then that he met former CIA security officer Adelson. Adelson, who died in 2021 at the age of 87, is a longtime donor to the Republican Party.

2017 was a pivotal year for the partnership between Morales and the CIA. Before traveling to the United States, he asked an employee of his company to remotely activate the “hotels” portal – code name of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. UC Global technicians set up an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server and web portal at their Spanish headquarters to collect all data related to the Ecuadorian Embassy. They collected a surveillance file with the profiles of Assange’s visitors – lawyers, diplomats, doctors and journalists, their mobile phone data, including photos of their IDs. UC Global has given streaming access to a mysterious US customer named X.

Morales went to Las Vegas where he met his “American friends” and showed them all his information. A few weeks later, he asked his team for a “quote for the purchase of cameras with microphones”, which had to be deposited at the Ecuadorian embassy in London before the end of the year. Morales told his trusted employees that he had “turned to the dark side”, that “they work in the Champions League” and that they will get new contracts from a new American client. Because Assange turned on the noise suppression machine every time he entered the conference room to prevent eavesdropping, the UC Global team was forced to install a microphone at the base of the fire extinguisher. Special stickers were stuck on the corners of the windows to prevent vibrations and allow recording from outside with laser microphones. Funds for the expenses were received in full from “American friends” and since then the company has started recording every step and every contact of Assange at the embassy.

Morales was arrested in September 2019, weeks after EL PAÍS published audio and video recordings and UC Global reports detailing spying on Assange and his lawyers as they prepared their defense. The evidence led to a formal complaint by Assange to Spain’s National Court and an investigation of Morales for breach of privacy law, breach of privileged attorney-client relationships, embezzlement, bribery and money laundering. Several of his former employees became witnesses in the protective case. Santiago Pedras, the presiding judge, asked the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to formally request information from the CIA on the surveillance of the Wikileaks founder.

But the case has not progressed, and Julian Assange is still under threat of extradition to the United States, which, given his weakened physical and mental state, could be fatal to him. Assange won a stay of extradition in the UK lower court, but lost the case in the High Court in London. He is appealing there, as well as to the European Court of Human Rights with an appeal. Assange’s brother Gabriel Shipton, who campaigned globally for his release, said Assange’s mental and physical health had deteriorated due to the conditions he faced in Belmarsh prison in London.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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