Assange founded the WikiLeaks website in 2006. He has published material about extrajudicial killings in Kenya, toxic waste dumping in Africa, Church of Scientology manuals, Guantanamo Bay procedures, and banks such as Kaupthing.
Most notoriously-he published classified details about US involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
For his work with WikiLeaks, Assange received a number of awards and nominations, including the 2009 Amnesty International Media Award for publishing material about extrajudicial killings in Kenya and Readers' Choice for Time magazine's 2010 Person of the Year.
He has recently been targeted, with a major attempt made to supress Wikileaks, and to sideline and smear him with what remain allegations of rape
In relation to Ireland Wikileaks has shown that our politicians caved in to Vatican pressure to grant immunity to church officials in the investigation of decades of sex abuse by its clergy.
The Irish government politicians were reluctant to insist Vatican officials answer investigators' questions, the leaked cables indicate.
The Vatican did not any investigators questions - Files detailing abuse requested by the police were not handed over. That is obstruction of justice.
One thing about the Lisbon II treaty I worried about was the EU extradition warrant.
Ireland has not taken this action with people who ordered or were involved in the cover-up of child rape even though we have evidence that happened.
You and I can be now sent to another EU country with no presentation of evidence, as has happened with Assange. It requires only the filling out of a form requesting that a person be detained and sent to another EU state with no evidence or reason.
The primary golden thread that runs through Irish and British law is the presumption of innocence, that we are all innocent until proven guilty. He is entitled to that presumption.
Assange has offered to be interviewed in the UK by Swedish investigators - but does not wish to go to Sweden as he is worried that the US then may try to have him extradited.
He has good reason to worry.
The U.S. is set to bring spying charges against Julian Assange.
Prosecutors are said to be finalising their case against the whistleblowing website.
A lawyer for Assange, Jennifer Robinson said she understands U.S. charges are ‘imminent’.
Assange, who is on bail in the UK fighting extradition hearing over rape accusations in Sweden, is likely to be prosecuted under the U.S.’s Espionage Act.
This law makes it a crime to receive national defence information if it is known to have been obtained illegally and could be used ‘to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation’.
The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment.
Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed however that he had ordered ‘a very serious, active, ongoing investigation that is criminal in nature’.
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