US charges WikiLeaks founder with publishing classified info

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FILE – In this May 1, 2019, file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange puts his fist up as he is taken from court in London. The Justice Department has charged Assange with receiving and publishing classified information. The charges are contained in a new, 18-count indictment announced May 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with receiving and publishing classified information.

The charges are contained in an 18-count indictment announced Thursday.

The new charges go far beyond an initial indictment against Assange made public last month that accused him of conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in a conspiracy to crack a Defense Department computer password.

The new indictment says Assange conspired with Manning to obtain and disclose classified national defense documents, including State Department cables and reports on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It says his actions “risked serious harm” to the United States.

The 47-year-old Assange is in custody in London after being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy in April. The U.S. is seeking his extradition.

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