Monday, December 13, 2010
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week he authorized “significant” actions related to a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks’ document and cable publication but declined to provide details.
However, according to CNN, a secret grand jury in Alexandria, VA is meeting to consider criminal charges in the WikiLeaks case, Mark Stephens, an attorney for the site’s founder, Julian Assange, told the Al-Jazeera in an interview.
“We have heard from Swedish authorities there has been a secretly empaneled grand jury in Alexandria.”
If true, the Obama Department of Justice is going to far greater lengths to limit and restrict freedom of the press than anything the Bush Department of Justice did in its eight years in power.
Mark Stephens told Al-Jazeera’s Sir David Frost on Sunday:
“The United States just wants Assange detained, [so] ultimately they can get their mitts on him. He [Assange] is entitled under international law, under Swedish law, to know the charges or the investigation that’s going on, the allegations made against him and the nature of the evidence which is said to support it. As I sit here talking to you now, he hasn’t (had) that information, so he’s not been able to comprehensively rebut (the allegations).”
Meanwhile, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee plans to hold a hearing on “the Espionage Act and the legal and constitutional issues raised by WikiLeaks,” according to its website. More details on the hearing and a witness list had not been posted as of Monday morning.