Less than a day before a UK Court will decide whether to uphold a warrant for his arrest, Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief Julian Assange compared white powder sent in an envelope to Donald Trump Jr.’s wife with a similar envelope delivered to the Ecuadorian embassy in London last week.
Assange took to Twitter with the comparison earlier today:
Donald Trump Jr.'s wife hospitalized after opening envelope with white powder. Oddly, I received one last Tuesday (a terrorism offense in UK law) which was handed to diplomatic police. The stamp? From the US. https://t.co/PTCDlaK8NK
— Julian Assange ⌛ (@JulianAssange) February 12, 2018
Press reports indicated that Donald Trump Jr.’s wife, Vanessa Trump, was hospitalized on Monday after receiving a letter containing white powder, according to police. The report added that she was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.
Business Insider reported last week that London police responded to reports of a suspicious package at Ecuador’s embassy in the city on Tuesday. At the time of the mysterious package’s delivery to the embassy, the nature of the item was unclear, with some reports describing a bomb threat.
However, Assange’s statements on Twitter indicate that the item contained white powder -similar to that sent to Vanessa Trump. Assange noted on Twitter that the package included a threat addressed to his name, and that the package was marked with a stamp from the United States. It remains to be seen as to whether the packages sent to Vanessa Trump and Assange shared a common origin, or were related in any way.
I can confirm that a package containing an unknown white powdery substance and a threat was addressed to my name. It was handed to UK diplomatic police. I understand they are performing toxicology and forensics. https://t.co/s0F2aCBSAS?
— Julian Assange ⌛ (@JulianAssange) February 6, 2018
The mysterious package was delivered to the Embassy on the same day that proceedings began as part of an ongoing court case that will determine whether a UK arrest warrant against Assange will be upheld.
The warrant was issued on June 30, 2012, in connection with a Swedish investigation that never produced charges against Assange and has now ended. As Disobedient Media previously observed, the UK appears to have actually pressured Sweden to continue its investigation into Assange after the Swedish authorities expressed their intention to drop the matter.
The latest events add to a break-neck string of changes in Assange’s arbitrary detention in the Ecuadorian embassy. If the court rules against Assange’s interest, it will necessitate the claim that his ongoing – and extremely expensive -detention is in the public interest. Given The BBC report that by 2015, the cost of policing Assange in the embassy had reached more than £10,000 a day, it appears patently absurd to argue that arbitrarily detaining the publisher is in the best interest of the public.
Disobedient Media previously wrote regarding the statements of Italian Journalist Stefania Maurizi, who described the findings of the United Nations Human Rights Committee Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, including their statement that: “The working group has no choice but to query what has prohibited the unfolding of judicial management of any kind in a reasonable manner from occurring for such extended period of time.”
If the UK judge does rule against Assange, it would, in reality, be in the interest of the United States, which is reluctant to admit a secret extradition order against the Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief. If forced to do so, it would finally show in broad daylight that Assange’s detention has nothing to do with a sex abuse investigation that has been dropped, and everything to do with punishing the publisher of information that has been extremely embarrassing to war hawks and corrupt actors in the United States.
Such a ruling would also contradict a UN body which found that his detention is both arbitrary and deserves compensation. As Assange and his supporters have often noted, the Wikileaks co-founder has already served over three times the maximum term that would be given for a breach of bail.