Moscow: One of the key witnesses for the prosecution in the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Icelandic national Sigurdur Thordarson, was arrested in his home country over sexual misconduct involving minors, the local Stundin newspaper reported, citing his lawyer.
On September 24, Thordarson, who has been charged with sex crimes against minors, was sent to Litla Hraun, the most secure prison in Iceland, the media said. Thordarson’s lawyer, Hunbogi Andersen, confirmed the arrest.
Thordarson was taken into custody right after he came back from a trip to Spain, the news said. The decision was made based on a rarely applied law, which allows the immediate arrest of a criminal if there is clear evidence that he presents danger to the public.
The arrest could have been prompted by Thordarson’s recent interview to Stundin, the newspaper said.
In June, Thordarson, an alleged hacker, confessed that he had fabricated major accusations against Assange, which were then used by the FBI to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder. Thordarson also said that Assange had not asked him to hack phones belonging to politicians, but now he claims that he did receive some recordings from an unknown source, who then offered to send the audios to Assange. Thordarson reportedly did not listen to the recordings himself.
In 2019, the US Justice Department announced new accusations against Assange, and a former FBI informer, Thordarson, was presented as the main witness.
The WikiLeaks founder is currently held in high-security Belmarsh prison in London awaiting hearing on his extradition to the United States. If Assange is extradited to the US, he will face up to 175 years in prison.