Contributed by Joe Montero
One of the key witnesses in Julian Assange’s extradition case has admitted he made false claims against Assange in exchange for immunity from prosecution. This bombshell revelation could have a major impact on the WikiLeaks founder’s fate.
Sigurdur Ingi ‘Sigi’ Thordarson was recruited by US authorities. The purpose to build a case against Assange, to help the extradition case in the United Kingdom. The case concluded in January, and the extradition did not take place on health grounds. An appeal was lodged, and this is pending. Thordarson’s evidence remains important to the case.
It rests on the claim that Thordarson had a close association with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He was supposed to have been recruited by Assange to hack the computer system of the Central Intelligence Agency (CAI) and obtain access recorded telephone conversations of politicians and high ranking officials.
The United States FBI was tracking him. He was arrested and offered immunity form a several unrelated criminal charges. In exchange, he had to agree to testify against Assange.
No one is denying that there was a short-term association with WikiLeaks. This was only as a low level volunteer and not in a position of authority. Thordarson stole $50,000 from the organisation.
Thordarson’s testimony was critical to laying the hacking charge. This is important. The main part of the case centres around treason charges that carry up to 175 years in prison. The reason for this new charge, which only carries 5 years in prison, is that it provides more solid ground for extradition.
It revolves around the accusation that Assange had actively helped to provide whistelblower Chelsea Manning with the access code to the computer system and its files. The problem with this is that Manning already had official clearance. Thordarson’s evidence was to show that this happened anyway.
Thordarson has now thrown a spanner into the works by publicly admitting it has all been a fabrication. He has told Icelandic publication Stundin, Assange had never asked him to hack the computer system or recordings of the telephone conversations of politicians and high ranking officials.
This should be enough to blow the whole case out of the water. it won’t be so easy. Washington remains as resolute as ever to get the journalist and publisher for speaking out. The case has never been about the niceties of the law, which have time and again, been bent or broken to silence the inconvenient truth.
The pressure to release Julian Assange has gone up a notch,