The US Justice Department has now charged Assange with violating the US Espionage Act in the publishing of military and diplomatic files in 2010, rejecting his claim that he is a journalist.
According to the indictment, she gave Assange and WikiLeaks information related to "approximately 90,000 Afghanistan war-related significant activity reports, 400,000 Iraq war-related significant activities reports, 800 Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs, and 250,000 U.S. Department of State cables". It says his actions "risked serious harm" to the United States.
The 47-year-old was found guilty last month after his arrest at the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he had sought refuge since 2012 over sexual assault allegations in Sweden.
Assange is now serving a jail sentence in the United Kingdom for breaching bail conditions and faces extradition.
The latest charges accuse him of receiving and unlawfully publishing the names of classified sources. "Julian Assange is no journalist.
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No responsible actor, journalist or otherwise, would purposely publish the names of individuals he or she knew to be confidential sources, exposing them to the gravest of dangers", Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement. "If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each count except for conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, for which he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison", DOJ released. Department officials said Thursday they believe Assange strayed far outside First Amendment protections. A federal grand jury in Virginia has indicted Australian-born Assange on these felony charges for allegedly playing a major role in the unlawful publication of names of classified sources, on top of allegedly conspiring and assisting ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified Government information.
The charges are contained in an 18-count indictment.
He was subsequently sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching bail conditions when he took refuge in the embassy.
She is now back in jail after refusing to testify.