US to question Assange friend jailed in Ecuador: report

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The United States is set to question a friend of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who is currently jailed in Ecuador, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Two sources told the news service that Ola Bini, a Swedish programmer, will be interviewed on June 27.

Bini has been in jail for more than two months on suspicion of hacking, according to the AP, which added that he was arrested the same day Ecuador evicted Assange from its embassy in London.

{mosads}It was not clear from either source why American authorities asked to speak with Bini.

Top Ecuadorian officials have alleged that he was part of a plot hatched with two unidentified Russian hackers living in Ecuador to threaten to release compromising documents about President Lenin Moreno, according to the AP.

The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the AP report.

Assange, who had been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to the U.S. and Sweden, faces a slew of charges in the U.S. His extradition hearing is set for early next year.

Charges were first filed against Assange for allegedly conspiring to hack into computers in connection with WikiLeaks’s release of classified government cables from Chelsea Manning, a former Army private and intelligence analyst.

Justice Department officials last month added several more charges related to publishing a select range of the classified documents that revealed the names of low-level, local sources utilized by the U.S. government, including Afghan and Iraqi nationals, journalists, human rights activists and religious leaders.

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