Edward Snowden Declares; “End of Case against Assange” after Key Witness Confesses He Lied

June 27, 2021

photo: Peoples Dispatch

A key witness in the U.S. Justice Department’s prosecution of Julian Assange, Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, has confessed in an interview given to Icelandic newspaper Stundin that he lied in his statements used by U.S. authorities to build the case against the WikiLeaks founder. “This is the end of the case against Julian Assange,” wrote former CIA and US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden in reference to these revelations.

Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson was a WikiLeaks volunteer turned FBI’s first known whistleblower inside the organization in exchange for about $5,000 and immunity from prosecution. Now, Thordarson has admitted that his previous claim that Assange asked him to ‘hack’ into MPs’ computers to access recordings of their private phone conversations is false and that he never requested it.

The man has explained that he actually received some files from third parties who told him that they had recorded the MPs and proposed to share them with Assange without checking their content.

British Justice decided not to extradite Assange to the US for fear that he might commit suicide, a country where he faces up to 175 years in prison for 18 charges against him, following the publication of secret documents on his portal WikiLeaks. He is accused of violating the Espionage Act and conspiring to commit computer intrusion and access government computers with classified information.

However, now the veracity of the information on which the formal U.S. indictment is based has been disproved by the main witness, whose testimony has been key. While the British court was guided on humanitarian grounds in ruling against Assange’s extradition, the US legal team’s argument included the claim that the defendant and his informant, Thordarson, together tried to decrypt a file stolen from an Icelandic bank.

Thordarson has clarified to Stundin that the described incident was well known and the encrypted file was leaked from the bank and shared on the Internet among enthusiasts who tried to decrypt it in the public interest in an attempt to uncover the reasons for the financial crisis in Iceland, and that nothing confirms that the file was “stolen” at any point, as it is presumed to have been disclosed by the bank’s own employees.

Another point made in the aforementioned court proceedings was that Assange “used unauthorized access” granted by Thordarson “to access a government website” intended to track police vehicles. Interviewed by Stundin, the whistleblower has specified that the login data were his own IDs and were not obtained by illicit means.

Thordarson said that he had access to the website because of his work as a first responder when he was a volunteer in a search and rescue team, and that the WikiLeaks founder never asked him for his login details.

“Weaving a web to trap Assange.”Iceland’s then Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson is of the opinion that the Americans were trying to use things in his country and its citizens “to weave a web, a spider web to trap Julian Assange” and recalled the exact moment when the FBI first contacted Icelandic authorities on June 20, 2011 to warn them of an impending intrusion into government computers, offering their help which was accepted.

In Jonasson’s view, the goal the US was really pursuing was to catch Assange and not to help Iceland, and at that time its agents were already laying the groundwork to achieve their ultimate purpose.

What the former Icelandic interior minister still wonders since then is whether it all started with the acceptance of US aid and the establishment of cooperation “which they could have used as a pretext for later visits.”

Source: RT, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – English