News World Spy claims: Julian Assange’s embassy hideout may have been bugged

Spy claims: Julian Assange’s embassy hideout may have been bugged

Authorities are investigating whether hidden devices were spying on Julian Assange while he was holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy. Photo: Getty
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A Spanish security firm that worked for the Ecuadorean embassy in London is being investigated on suspicion it spied on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for US secret services.

Spain’s National Court says it is investigating whether David Morales and his Undercover Global SL security agency invaded Assange’s privacy and that of his lawyers by installing hidden microphones and other devices in the embassy.

It said the information gathered appeared to have been passed on to Ecuadorean and US bodies.

Assange is jailed in London, fighting extradition to the US on espionage charges.

He was given asylum in the embassy for some seven years after jumping bail in 2012 when Sweden sought his extradition on sexual misconduct allegations.

Court documents said Mr Morales and his firm, based in the southern Spanish town of Jerez de la Frontera, were also under investigation for bribery and money laundering.

The court opened the investigation in August following a complaint by Assange and his defence team, but did not release the information until Wednesday as it had placed a secrecy order on the case.

A court official confirmed Mr Morales was arrested last month but is on conditional release.

Spanish newspaper El Pais, which first reported the story several weeks ago, said on Wednesday that police arresting Mr Morales confiscated computer hard disks and documents as well as two guns with erased identification numbers.

It said Mr Morales had his passport confiscated, financial accounts blocked and must report to the court every two weeks.