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US-linked security company plotted to kidnap or poison Julian Assange, court told

U.S. intelligence assets and a private security company plotted to abduct or even poison Julian Assange during his seven-year stay at the Ecuadorean Embassy.

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(TMU) – U.S. intelligence assets and a private security company plotted to abduct or even poison Julian Assange during the WikiLeaks co-founder’s seven-year stay at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, a British court has been told.

The discussed plans were allegedly part of a wide-ranging and complex spying operation that targeted Assange and any of his visitors, according to former employees of Spanish security firm Undercover Global.

Two anonymous witnesses who worked for UC Global told London’s Old Bailey court that from 2017 onwards, after the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, American intelligence agencies stepped up their surveillance of Assange. The witnesses had been granted anonymity due to fears for their safety, reports The Guardian.

Assange’s confidential meetings with lawyers were recorded by microphones, his fingerprints were lifted from a drinking glass, and moles hatched a scheme to obtain the nappy of a baby who was being brought to the embassy on routine visits.

According to UC Global founder and director David Morales, “the Americans” sought to establish paternity but called off the plan when the then-employee tipped off the child’s mom.

The witnesses, who are apparently equally afraid of Morales and the U.S. Government, allege that their former director was won over to “the dark side” before giving instructions to install sophisticated cameras with advanced audio recording capabilities in order to secretly record Assange’s conversations with visitors, and especially his attorneys.

One of the witnesses claims that after Morales went on a business trip to Las Vegas in July 2016 to promote his security firm, he obtained a “flashy contract” with the Las Vegas Sands, owned by close Trump ally and billionaire campaign financier Sheldon Adelson.

“After returning from one of his trips to the United States, David Morales gathered all the workers in the office in Jerez and told us that ‘We have moved up and from now on we will be playing in the big league,'” the witness explained.

The other anonymous former employee claims that in December 2017, “the Americans were desperate” and had demanded that “more extreme measures should be employed against the ‘guest’ to put an end to the situation of Assange’s permanence in the embassy.”

Assange had been living there since 2012, when then Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa granted political asylum to the Australian amid the British government’s attempts to detain him and extradite him to Sweden over a sexual assault case that was subsequently dropped.

The witness said an idea was hatched whereby the door to the embassy would be intentionally left open, “which would allow the argument that this had been an accidental mistake, which would allow persons to enter from outside the embassy and kidnap the asylee”.

Another plan involved the possibility that Assange could be poisoned.

“All of these suggestions Morales said were under consideration during his dealing with his contacts in the United States,” the witness said.

The witness claims that Morales requested that he install a microphone in a fire extinguisher in the embassy’s meeting room, as well as in the bathroom where Assange was holding meetings out of the well-grounded concern he was being targeted in a spying operation.

“I used a nearby socket to conceal a microphone in a cable in the toilet in the back of the embassy,” the witness said.

“This was never removed, and may still be there.”

Lawyers for the U.S. Government have not contested the anonymous allegations but have shrugged them off as “wholly irrelevant” to the matter being considered, namely Assange’s likely extradition to the United States. The extradition hearings had been delayed due to the ongoing pandemic, but will conclude by week’s end.

After being removed from the embassy by police in April 2019, Assange has been held at the maximum-security HMP Belmarsh prison.

The U.S. government is seeking the extradition of Assange to the United States on 17 charges, including allegations of conspiracy to hack into computers in the U.S. and violating the Espionage Act. Analysts say he would face a sentence of up to 175 years in prison or even the death penalty if found guilty of the charges.

Assange’s defenders claim that he is simply being sought due to his role in the release of scandalous information implicating Washington in a range of crimes, including serious war crimes and violations of international law.

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Corruption

Prison Guard Who Had Sex With Inmate In Front Of 11 Prisoners Is Now Behind Bars

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A prison guard in California now finds herself behind bars after she was caught having sexual relations with an inmate – in one case, performing the act in full view of 11 other prisoners.

Former Fresno County correctional officer Tina Gonzalez, 26, was arrested last May following an investigation by the vice unit of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office’s and its internal affairs division.

Gonzalez, who worked as a prison guard from 2016 to 2019, was investigated after authorities were tipped off that an inmate was having sex with a prison guard who had also smuggled in a phone, reports the Fresno Bee.

In one case, Gonzalez even cut a hole in the pants of her uniform to allow easier access during sexual acts with the unnamed prisoner at Fresno County Jail.

Gonzalez was also accused of having sex in full view of 11 inmates, an act that her former boss says “is something only a depraved mind can come up with.”

Assistant Sheriff Steve McComas, who once supervised the unit Gonzalez belonged to, said that in his entire career of 26 years he has witnessed some “pretty disgusting things” but none as bad as Gonzalez’s conduct.

“She took an oath which she betrayed and in doing so endangered her co-workers’ lives,” McComas said.

“But she has shown no remorse,” he added. “She continually calls and has sexually explicit conversations with the inmate in question and boasts about the crimes she carried out.”

Gonzalez pleaded no contest in April to one count of sexual activity by a detention facility employee with a consenting confined adult, one count of possession of drugs or an alcoholic beverage in a jail facility and a misdemeanor count of possession of cellular device with intent to deliver to an inmate.

When she was being sentenced, Judge Michael Idiart decried her acts as “terrible, stupid” and noted that her career had been “ruined.”

“But I also believe that people can redeem themselves and you have the rest of your life to do that,” the judge added. “Good luck.”

Gonzalez is now serving her sentence of seven months in county jail to be followed by two years of probation.

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Corruption

Judge Orders New Trove of Secret Ghislaine Maxwell Files to Be Unsealed This Month

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A large trove of secretive files about Ghislaine Maxwell will be unsealed this month, including those shedding light on her relationship with disgraced late financier Jeffrey Epstein, a judge ruled on Thursday.

The documents will include details on her finances, as well as “funding received from the Clinton Global Initiative and the Clinton Foundation,” according to court records.

The documents are also believed to detail Maxwell’s extensive connections with powerful men such as Prince Andrew of the British royal family, reports the Daily Mail.

It has long been well-known that Epstein and Maxwell associated with both Clinton and former President Donald Trump. Clinton also reportedly met with accused Maxwell for an “intimate” dinner in 2014.

The documents are a part were filed by Epstein accuser and former “sex slave” Virginia Roberts Giuffre in a 2015 civil lawsuit against Maxwell and must be released in mid-July, Judge Loretta Preska ruled in Thursday’s telephone hearing.

Giuffre sued Maxwell for defamation after she was accused by the British socialite of fabricating the sexual abuse allegations against her and Epstein in the lawsuit, which has since been settled.

Last July, a deposition by Giuffre was unsealed. In the deposition, Giuffre went into detail about alleged “constant” orgies that Maxwell and the late pedophile engaged in on Epstein’s private Caribbean island.

“There’s just a blur of so many girls,” Giuffre explained in the 2015 deposition.

“There were blondes, there were brunettes, there were redheads,” she continued. “They were all beautiful girls. I would say the ages ranged between 15 and 21.”

The island was a place where orgies were a constant thing that took place. And again, it’s impossible to know how many,” Giuffre said, noting that she was “100 percent certain” that Maxwell took part in sexual acts with the girls.

Maxwell is accused of grooming multiple minors to engage in sex acts with Epstein, her ex-boyfriend, by befriending them to ask them about their lives and families while building friendships with the young girls alongside Epstein by taking their victims on social outings or out shopping in the 1990s and 2000s.

Maxwell has been detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, pending trial.

Her five appeals to be released from jail have all been rejected.

Epstein, 66, was found dead in a lone cell in the special housing unit (SHU) of a federal Manhattan prison in New York City while facing a potential prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

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Corruption

2 More Catholic Churches in Canada Burned as Third Mass Gravesite for Indigenous Kids Found

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An additional two Catholic churches have been the target of likely arson in Canada as anger continues to grow in the aftermath of the discovery of over 1,000 human remains belonging to Indigenous children.

The news coincides with the discovery of a third site where 182 unmarked graves were located near a discovered near a residential school in British Columbia’s interior.

Early Wednesday morning, firefighters were dispatched to respond to a fire at St. Jean Baptiste Parish in Morinville, Alberta, which was basically gutted by the blaze.

“The fire was already fully involved from the basement when the first fire crews got here,” Morinville’s infrastructure general manager Iain Bushell told CTV News. “They entered the building but there was already collapse occurring on the inside of the church so they backed out and it’s been a defensive or exterior fire fight ever since.”

Police officials have described the blaze as “suspicious.”

Roughly an hour later, a fire was also reported at the Catholic St. Kateri Tekakwitha Church in Sipekne’katik First Nation in Nova Scotia, reports CBC.

At least seven churches, nearly all Catholic, have come under apparent arson attacks throughout Canada in recent weeks. Activists and Indigenous advocates have also defaced Catholic churches with bloody red hand and foot prints, while demonstrations have also been staged involving stuffed animal and the slogan “we were children.”

While it remains unclear what precisely caused the fires, they are believed to be linked to the recent discovery of mass graves and unmarked graves containing over 1,000 human remains near Catholic-run residential schools for First Nations children.

The discovery came just few weeks after the grim discovery of 215 Indigenous children’s bodied by the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation in a mass grave at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Colombia.

Also last month, the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan announced its discovery of 751 unmarked graves near the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School, which operated from 1899 to 1997 in the area.

 Another site with 182 unmarked graves was announced Wednesday after an investigation undertaken by the community of ʔaq’am, near Cranbrook, British Columbia.

About 150,000 First Nations children were forcibly separated from their families and communities and forced to attend the religious schools which were established in the 19th century to assimilate Indigenous children into the Anglo settler-colonial culture of Canada.

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has confirmed that large amounts of Indigenous children fled such residential schools or died there, their whereabouts unknown. Former students have also testified to the horrific sexual, mental and physical abuse they suffered while enrolled at the schools. Myriad students died from preventable diseases that rapidly spread in unsanitary conditions, as well as in accidents and fires. Others disappeared when trying to escape. The Commission has denounced the schools for institutionalizing child neglect and for being organs of “cultural genocide.”

Indigenous groups and Canadian politicians are also demanding an apology from the Catholic Church – specifically Pope Francis. Activists have also rejected Canada Day celebrations this year to highlight the anti-Indigenous atrocities that the founding of the North American country entailed.

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