JULIAN Assange was protected from an FBI investigation by the Icelandic government over fears they were trying to FRAME the WIkiLeaks founder, a minister has claimed.
In June 2011, President Barack Obama’s government warned Iceland hackers were aiming to target the country’s electronic infrastructure, according to then-Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson. The USA offered help in tackling the hackers, a move that immediately raised the suspicions of Iceland’s politicians.
Mr Jonasson said he became concerned America was merely attempting to frame Assange, whose website had left Mr Obama’s administration red-faced on several occasions.
Mr Jonasson claimed this week he quickly became “suspicious” at America’s intentions, explaining he was “well aware that a helping hand might easily become a manipulating hand”.
He said: “Since they had not been authorised by the Icelandic authorities to carry out police work in Iceland and since a crack-down on WikiLeaks was not on my agenda, to say the least, I ordered that all cooperation with them be promptly terminated.
“I also made it clear that they should cease all activities in Iceland immediately.”
Mr Jonasson said he remains suspicious of America’s intelligence organisations and vowed to support Assange again should the opportunity arise.
He said: “If I had to take sides with either WikiLeaks or the FBI or CIA, I would have no difficulty in choosing: I would be on the side of WikiLeaks.”
This humiliating revelation comes after a trove of newly-released WikiLeaks documents exposed links between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US spy agencies.
A 90GB cache containing almost 2,500 top-secret documents, now made public by the whistle-blowing website, sheds light on the murky relationship between Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and America’s National Security Agency (NSA).
Commenting on the latest release of classified papers, Assange claimed they could derail Germany’s ascendancy within the EU.
He said: “This substantial body of evidence proves that the inquiry has been using documents from Mr [Edward] Snowden and yet it has been too cowardly to permit him to testify.
“Germany can not take a leadership role within the EU if it’s own parliamentary processes are subservient to the wishes of a non EU state.”