A key witness in the United States Department of Justice process against Julian Assange, Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, has confessed in an interview with the Icelandic newspaper The hour that he lied in his statements used by the US authorities to build the case against the founder of WikiLeaks. “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 informant within the organization in exchange for a few $ 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 the recordings of their private phone conversations is false and that he never requested it.
The man has explained that he actually received third party files who told him they had recorded the MPs and proposed to share them with Assange without checking their content.
The British Justice decided not to extradite Assange to the United States for fear that he would commit suicide, a country where he faces up to 175 years in prison on 18 charges against him, as a result of the publication of secret documents on his WikiLeaks portal. They accuse him of violating the Espionage Law and conspiring to commit computer intrusion and access government computers with classified information.
However, now the veracity of the information on which the US indictment is based has been denied by the main witness, whose testimony has been key. While the British court was guided by humanitarian grounds in ruling against Assange’s extradition, the US legal team’s argumentation included the claim that the defendant and his informant, Thordarson, tried to decrypt together a file stolen from a bank Icelandic.
Thordarson has clarified to Stundin that the incident described was well known and the encrypted file was leaked from the bank and shared on the Internet among enthusiasts who tried to decrypt it for reasons of public interest in an attempt to discover the reasons for the financial crisis in Iceland. So what nothing confirms that the file was “stolen” at some point, since it is presumed that the bank’s own employees disclosed it.
Another point made in the aforementioned judicial process was that Assange “used Unauthorized access“granted by Thordarson” to access a government website “intended for track police vehicles. Interviewed by Stundin, the informant has specified that the ‘login’ data they were their own identifications and they were not obtained by illegal means.
Thordarson has said that he had access to that web page due to his work as a lifeguard when he was a volunteer in a search and rescue team, and that the WikiLeaks founder never asked him for his access data.
“Weave a web to catch Assange”
The then Minister of the Interior of Iceland, Ogmundur Jonasson, thinks that the Americans tried to use things in their country and their citizens “to weave a net, a spider web that will trap Julian Assange “and recalled the exact moment when the FBI contacted Icelandic authorities for the first time on June 20, 2011 to warn them of an imminent intrusion into government computers, offering their help that was accepted.
In Jonasson’s view, the goal the US was really pursuing was to catch Assange and don’t help iceland, and by then his agents were already laying the groundwork to achieve their ultimate purpose.
What the former Icelandic interior minister has been wondering ever since is whether it all started with the acceptance of US aid and the establishment of cooperation “which could have been used as pretext for subsequent visits“.