“The U.S. Constitution shields American citizens from U.S. government overreach even when the activities take place in a foreign embassy in a foreign country,” said one of the plaintiffs.
On Monday, a group of U.S. lawyers and journalists filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its former Director Mike Pompeo for eavesdropping on their conversations with Julian Assange, while he was in asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.
The suit alleges that Pompeo - who headed the CIA between 2017 and 2018, before being appointed Secretary of State by Donald Trump - oversaw and directed an extraordinary campaign of illegal espionage on Assange's lawyers and other people inside the embassy.
“The U.S. Constitution shields American citizens from U.S. government overreach even when the activities take place in a foreign embassy in a foreign country,” said Richard Roth, an attorney who is part of the group of plaintiffs, which also includes journalists Charles Glass and John Goetz and attorneys Margaret Kunstler and Deborah Hrbek.
“There should be sanctions, even up to dismissal of those charges, or withdrawal of an extradition request in response to these blatantly unconstitutional activities,” he said, as reported by AA agency.
From 2012 to 2019, Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. In April 2019, however, British authorities arrested him following an extradition order from Washington. This happened after Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno withdrew Assange's political asylum status.
Since then, Assange has been in a British high-security prison. U.S. authorities accuse him of crimes related to the documents leaked on WikiLeaks, in which he exposed the abuses committed by U.S. troops in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The espionage actions inside the embassy would have been carried out by the Spanish company Undercover Global, which was responsible for the private security of the embassy. This company and its owner David Morales were also sued.