Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Former U.S. Secretary of State and Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo has been called to testify in Spain's highest court about matters including an alleged plot to kidnap or assassinated jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. (Photo: Jabin Botsford/Washington Post via Getty Images)

Spain's High Court Demands Pompeo Testify on Alleged Plot to Kidnap or Kill Assange

The former U.S. secretary of state and CIA director was summoned to give testimony related to alleged spying on the jailed WikiLeaks founder by a Spanish security firm.

Brett Wilkins

A judge on Spain's highest court has summoned former U.S. Secretary of State and Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo to testify about an alleged Trump administration plot to kill or kidnap jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to a report published on Friday.

Spain's ABC reports National High Court Judge Santiago Pedraz issued the summons, which compels Pompeo to testify as part of an investigation of alleged illicit spying on Assange by Spanish security firm U.C. Global while the Australian was exiled in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Pompeo and former U.S. National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina are also being called to testify about an alleged plot revealed last year by Yahoo! News to abduct or possibly murder Assange to avenge WikiLeaks' publication of the "Vault 7" documents exposing CIA electronic warfare and surveillance activities.

According to Yahoo! News' Zach Dorfman, Sean D. Naylor, and Michael Isikoff, discussions over kidnapping or killing Assange occurred "at the highest levels" of the Trump administration, with senior officials requesting "sketches" or
"options" for assassinating him.

"They were seeing blood," one former Trump national security official told the reporters. "There seemed to be no barriers," said another.

U.C. Global whistleblowers allege company founder David Morales worked with the CIA to surveil Assange and Ecuadorean diplomats who worked at the London embassy. Former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa had angered the Obama and Trump administrations by granting Assange asylum as he resisted going to Sweden to face sex crime allegations over fears he would be extradited to the United States.

Assange is charged in the U.S. with violating the 1917 Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for conspiring with whistleblower Chelsea Manning to publish classified documents—which revealed U.S. and allied war crimes and other misdeeds in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world—on WikiLeaks over a decade ago.

According to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Assange has been arbitrarily deprived of his freedom since he was first arrested in London on December 7, 2010. Since then, he has been held under house arrest, confined for seven years in the Ecuadorean Embassy, and jailed in London's Belmarsh Prison, where he currently awaits his fate after a judge recently approved a U.S. extradition request.

A decision by U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel on whether to extradite Assange to the U.S. is reportedly imminent. Press freedom, anti-war, and other advocacy groups have urged Patel to reject the U.S. government's request.

"Assange would be unable to adequately defend himself in the U.S. courts, as the Espionage Act lacks a public interest defense," 20 groups wrote in an April joint letter to Patel. "His prosecution would set a dangerous precedent that could be applied to any media outlet that published stories based on leaked information, or indeed any journalist, publisher, or source anywhere in the world."

Pompeo, who is also wanted in Iran for his role in the January 2020 extralegal assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, is widely considered to be a possible 2024 Republican presidential candidate.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Dr. Oz Is a Puppy Killer': Fetterman Campaign Responds to Reporting on Animal Testing

"This is who Dr. Oz is: unconscionable and a danger to others," said Fetterman's wife, activist Gisele Barreto Fetterman.

Julia Conley ·


'We Must Not Stand By': Amnesty Urges State Leaders to Ban Guns Near Polling Places

"Governors and secretaries of state must do everything in their power to ensure the safety of voters and poll workers this November."

Brett Wilkins ·


Green Groups Say Ruptured Oil Pipeline Should Be Scrapped—Not Repaired

"We need to quickly phase out all dangerous, failing offshore oil infrastructure, not issue more permits that invite the next disaster," said one campaigner.

Julia Conley ·


Rights Groups Implored EU Leaders to Denounce Israeli Apartheid at Summit

"Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against Palestinians," says Amnesty International. "This is a crime against humanity requiring the E.U. to hold Israel's leaders to account."

Kenny Stancil ·


Oxfam Warns World Bank 'Could Be Significantly Overstating' Climate Spending

"It is alarming―at a time when climate change is driving such damage and poverty and hunger around the world―that we could find so little clarity about the quality and quantity of these financial flows."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo