Julian Assange’s lawyers have filed a court complaint in Spain against a group of Spaniards they allege extorted the WikiLeaks founder and Ecuador’s foreign ministry, a source in his defense team said on Saturday.
Assange, who for seven years lived holed up in London’s Ecuadoran embassy where he had taken refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden on rape accusations, was arrested on April 11 after Quito terminated his asylum.
The 47-year-old founder of WikiLeaks, which exposed everything from US military secrets to the wealthy’s tax evasion, is now awaiting sentencing for breaching his British bail conditions in 2012.
The source, who wished to remain anonymous, said the complaint was against “a group of Spaniards who allegedly engaged in extortion and the embassy’s employees and Ecuador’s foreign ministry.”
The source added an investigation was ongoing and alleged “espionage” in the embassy against Assange, refusing to give further details.
According to Spanish media reports, four Spaniards have videos and personal documents of Assange.
Online daily eldiario.es said they somehow got these via an alleged spying system set up in the embassy that included security cameras and employees taking photos of all documents handled by Assange.
They allegedly tried to extort three million euros ($3.3 million) out of WikiLeaks not to publish any of it, Spanish media report.
Eldiario.es, which had access to the written complaint that was filed to Spain’s top-level National Court, says Assange’s lawyers also accuse Ecuador of spying on him.
The National Court could not comment when contacted by AFP.
That contrasts with Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno’s version of events.
In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, he alleged Assange had tried to set up a “center for spying” in Ecuador’s embassy.
Last year, Quito cut his internet and mobile phone access, accusing him of breaking “a written commitment” not to interfere in its and allies’ foreign policies.
The move infuriated Assange, who sued the government for violating his “fundamental rights” by limiting his access to the outside world.
Now in prison in Britain, Assange is also fighting a US extradition warrant relating to the release by WikiLeaks of a huge cache of official documents.
UK lawmakers: Julian Assange should face justice in SwedenMore than 70 British legislators have urged the government to make sure WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces Swedish justice if prosecutors there ... World News
Assange’s father calls on Australia to bring him homeWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s father on Sunday called on Australia to bring his son home, saying he was shocked to see his son’s ... World News
After years of giving refuge, Ecuador suspends Assange’s citizenshipEcuador has suspended Julian Assange’s citizenship and accused him and people connected to his WikiLeaks group of collaborating in attempts to ... Features