MADRID — The Justice Department has failed to respond to multiple requests from Spanish authorities for help in an investigation into a local security firm suspected of being used by the CIA to conduct aggressive — and potentially illegal — surveillance of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
“I am not so pleased about it,” said Santiago Pedraz, the investigating judge in charge of the case, in an exclusive interview with Yahoo News, when asked about the failure of officials in Washington so far to cooperate with his probe. “They have absolutely not answered anything.”
Since June of last year, Spanish judges have sent three requests for information to the Justice Department primarily seeking information about the ownership of IP addresses believed to be in the United States that had access to files documenting Assange’s activities while he was holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, according to copies of the requests reviewed by Yahoo News.
Despite a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) between the U.S. and Spain pledging to assist each other in criminal investigations, none of the Spanish requests have yet elicited any substantive responses from the United States, the judge said. Instead, Justice Department lawyers have asked Spanish authorities for more information about the basis for the inquiry before taking any action.