A leading witness in the United States Justice Department’s case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been jailed in Iceland, Stundin reported.
Sigurdur Thordarson, a hacker and convicted pedophile, was remanded in custody in Iceland’s highest security prison, Litla Hraun, on Sept. 24 after being arrested when he arrived back in Iceland from a trip to Spain.
Officials requested he be detained indefinitely to halt an “ongoing crime spree,” claiming he posed a “clear and present” threat to the public and was at high-risk of re-offending and violating the law. The judge agreed.
His lawyer, Hunbogi J. Andersen, confirmed the news to Stundin, a well-known Icelandic biweekly.
The Epoch Times has contacted Thordarson’s lawyer for comment.
U.S. prosecutors have indicted Assange on 18 criminal charges of breaking an espionage law and conspiring to hack government computers.
WikiLeaks published a U.S. military video in 2010 showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff. It then released thousands of secret classified files and diplomatic cables, which included critical appraisals of world leaders, from Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of the Saudi royal family.
Assange sought refuge inside Ecuador’s London embassy for seven years from 2012 until he was arrested in April 2019 for skipping bail during a separate legal battle.
He is now in London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison but the United States is currently seeking his extradition from the UK. If it succeeds, he could face up to 175 years in jail. Assange has argued he won’t get a fair trial in the United States.
Thordarson was given immunity by the FBI in exchange for testimony against Assange, but later admitted to Stundin that he had fabricated statements to implicate the WikiLeaks founder and contradicted what he was quoted as saying in U.S. court documents, casting doubt on the indictment against Assange.
Thordarson told U.S. courts that he was asked by Assange to “commit computer intrusion and steal additional information, including audio recordings of phone conversations between officials in NATO Country-1, including members of parliament.”
However, he told Stundin that this was in fact a lie, explaining that Assange, “never asked him to hack or access phone recordings of MPs” and that such recordings were provided to them by a third party. He added that Assange was not involved but that he later offered to show the recordings to the WikiLeaks founder, without knowing what they contained.