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Spain: Court hears testimony on whether Julian Assange was spied on

By: AP | Madrid |

Printed: July 28, 2020 12:11:49 am


The court docket is investigating whether or not David Morales, a Spaniard, and his Undercover International SL safety company invaded the privateness of Assange and his guests on the embassy by secretly recording their conferences.  (AP Photograph)

Spain’s Nationwide Courtroom is because of hear testimony on Monday in an investigation into whether or not a Spanish firm was employed to spy on Julian Assange in the course of the seven years the WikiLeaks founder spent within the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

The court docket is investigating whether or not David Morales, a Spaniard, and his Undercover International SL safety company invaded the privateness of Assange and his guests on the embassy by secretly recording their conferences.

The intelligence that Morales’ firm collected is suspected of being handed over to 3rd events, in line with court docket papers.

Amongst these set to face the court docket’s questions Monday have been outstanding Spanish lawyer Baltasar Garz?n, who’s a part of Assange’s authorized crew; former Ecuadorean consul in London Fidel Narvez; and Stella Morris, a authorized adviser and Assange’s associate, who revealed earlier this yr that she had two youngsters with him whereas he lived within the embassy. Employees of the Spanish safety firm are as a consequence of testify on Tuesday.

Assange, whose legal professionals filed a grievance on the court docket to set off the investigation, is in a British jail after being faraway from the embassy final yr. He’s combating extradition to america, the place he faces espionage expenses over the actions of WikiLeaks.

The court docket is conducting an investigation, begun final yr, earlier than deciding whether or not there’s proof of wrongdoing that warrants a trial.

Undercover International, often known as UC International, was employed by Ecuador’s authorities to supply safety on the Ecuadorean embassy in London between 2015 and 2018. Its most important job was to safe the property’s perimeter, together with the deployment of safety workers, as a consequence of Assange’s presence inside, court docket papers say.

In line with the Nationwide Courtroom summons seen by The Related Press, the preliminary investigation has raised suspicions that, below the quilt of his safety work, Morales used bugging gadgets and video tools to report Assange’s conferences with guests.

They included his legal professionals, politicians, journalists, medical workers, Ecuadorean diplomats, the previous head of Ecuador’s Nationwide Intelligence Service, Rommy Vallejo, and longtime Republican congressman for California Dana Rohrabacher.

Morales handed on the recordings to 3rd events who will not be but recognized. Nevertheless, the court docket papers word allegations that the intelligence was handed to Zohar Lahav, described by Assange’s legal professionals as a safety officer at Las Vegas Sands Corp, a US on line casino and resort firm primarily based in Nevada. The court docket says it has no contact info for Lahav.

The court docket refused a request by Assange’s authorized crew to summon as witnesses Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson and the corporate’s Senior Vice President and Chief Safety Officer Brian Nagel. The court docket papers gave no clarification for the refusal.

Assange’s authorized crew says the court docket has requested U.S. authorities to query Lahav and Rohrabacher on its behalf.

Morales additionally requested his firm’s workers to take Assange’s fingerprints from a glass and is suspected of copying the ID paperwork of tourists, the summons says.

The court docket is investigating UC International’s financial institution accounts, worldwide journey data, cellphone, e mail and Web entry data, and its on-line purchases of recording tools.

Morales was arrested final yr and granted conditional launch.

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