U.S. prosecutors get indictment against Wikileaks founder Assange: court document

US Prosecutors Reportedly Optimistic About Bringing Julian Assange to Court

US Prosecutors Reportedly Optimistic About Bringing Julian Assange to Court

It remains unclear what charges are faced by Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012.

In a recently unsealed court filing, a US federal prosecutor in Virginia inadvertently disclosed that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged with an undisclosed crime, The Washington Post reported Thursday night.

USA intelligence agencies have alleged the emails were hacked by Russian spies and transferred to WikiLeaks.

It was not immediately clear why Assange's name was included in the document, though Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the Eastern District of Virginia - which had been investigating Assange - said: "The court filing was made in error".

But recently-ousted US Attorney General Jeff Sessions past year declared the arrest of Assange a priority.

The court filing, written by assistant United States attorney Kellen Dwyer, did not specify the nature of any charges against Assange.

On Thursday, it was revealed in The Wall Street Journal that the Justice Department is feeling "increasingly optimistic" about the possibility, Washington insiders believe.

"Prosecuting someone for publishing truthful information would set a awful and risky precedent", Pollack said.

Prosecutors revealed the existence of the sealed indictment inadvertently in a court filing in an unrelated case, WikiLeaks said. He is known to follow court filings closely. Seitu Sulayman Kokayi, 29, was charged with enticing a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him and send him pornographic images of herself. The case involves previously classified information, according to government filings, and prosecutors plan to use information obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The case had been sealed until early September, though by itself it attracted little notice.

On Twitter, Wikileaks said it was an "apparent cut-and-paste error". Mueller has already indicted 12 Russians in July on charges related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Assange could potentially come next, even though WikiLeaks always insisted their source had nothing to do with Moscow. He has argued that case was a pretext for what he predicted would be his arrest and extradition to the United States.

Assange is concerned that if he leaves the embassy the U.S. may also seek to extradite him on espionage charges.

Julian Assange, a major target of the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election, has been criminally charged in secret, an apparent mistake in a court filing has indicated.

But British police have said they still intend to arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy because he broke his conditions for bail by taking refuge there.