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U.S. Government Begins Hearings on WikiLeaks

A grand jury is reported to have convened recently with the goal of determining whether Julian Assange and WikiLeaks should be prosecuted for acts of espionage against the U.S. government.

The hearings are expected to determine whether Assange and WikiLeaks can be accused of violating the Espionage Act, which would require the ability to show that they had actively encouraged or assisted in the transmission of classified information, The Guardian reports. –ARK

The Guardian:

The first session of the grand jury is understood to have begun in Alexandria, Virginia, with the forced testimony of a man from Boston, Masachusetts. The unidentified man was subpoenad to appear before the panel.

… It [a subpoena] said the hearing was investigating “possible violations of federal criminal law involving, but not necessarily limited to, conspiracy to communicate or transmit national defence information in violation of” the Espionage Act.

… The Espionage Act has never been applied successfully against a non-government party, and to have a reasonable chance of prosecuting Assange or WikiLeaks as an organisation, the authorities would need to be able to prove to the satisfaction of a jury that they had actively encouraged or assisted the source of the leaks to transmit unauthorised material.

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