WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is facing extradition and a trial at a US court infamous for sending whistleblowers to jail. CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, whose case was tried there says there won’t be a fair trial for Assange.
Kiriakou was the first person to be sentenced in the US for leaking classified material to a journalist as part of President Barack Obama’s crackdown on whistleblowers. His case was heard by the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He took a plea bargain in October 2012 and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
The same court is handling the case against Julian Assange, who is alleged to have conspired with WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning as part of her leaking the damning classified materials. Assange was arrested by the UK authorities on Thursday after Ecuador allowed British police into its embassy in London to drag the whistleblower out.
Kiriakou believes that once in US custody, Assange would face additional charges and may spend the rest of his life in jail.
“I think that there are many more charges to be considered for Julian. I would expect a superseding indictment, possibly to include espionage charges,” he told RT.
I don’t think Julian is looking at five years in prison. He is probably looking at 50 years in prison.
The US court that would try Assange will not give him a fair trial, Kiriakou believes. “They don’t call EDVA the ‘Espionage Court’ for nothing,” he tweeted earlier in the day. He told RT he was speaking from his personal experience.
A fair trial in the Eastern District of Virginia, under Judge Leonie Brinkema, is utterly impossible. They don’t call EDVA the “Espionage Court” for nothing. https://t.co/U6gVq2FpcB
— John Kiriakou (@JohnKiriakou) April 11, 2019
“Judge Leonie Brinkema is a Reagan appointee to the federal bench and she was promoted to District Court bench by Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s. She reserves all national security cases for herself. She handled my case, the Jeffrey Sterling case [over leaking details of a CIA op to journalist James Risen], she is Julian’s judge, she has reserved the [NSA whistleblower] Ed Snowden case for herself,” he said.