Julian Assange was so paranoid about being spied on in the Ecuadorian embassy that he convened meetings in the ladies’ bathroom, surveillance reports show

Julian Assange.

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Julian Assange.
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Carl Court/Getty Images

  • Julian Assange was so paranoid about being spied on during his time in the Ecuadorian embassy that he held legal meetings in the ladies’ bathroom, surveillance notes seen by El País show.
  • Between 2012 and 2018, Spanish security agency Undercover Global S. L. collected intelligence on the WikiLeaks founder using hidden microphones and cameras.
  • El País cites a January 15, 2017, memo from security officer José Antonio about a 100-minute meeting between Assange and lawyers, held in the ladies bathroom.
  • Assange is currently serving a 50-week sentence in Britain’s Belmarsh Prison, and is likely to be extradited to the US to face hacking charges.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Julian Assange was so paranoid about being overheard and spied on during his time in the Ecuadorian embassy that he convened meetings in the ladies’ bathroom, surveillance notes seen by Spanish newspaper El País show.

From 2012, when Assange was given asylum by Ecuador, until 2018, Spanish security agency Undercover Global S. L. collected as much information on the WikiLeaks founder as possible, using hidden microphones and cameras throughout the London embassy.

One report, obtained by El País and written by security officer José Antonio on January 15, 2017, details how Assange held a 100-minute meeting in the ladies bathroom.

Here’s how it went down, according to the report:

  • “11.18am: Aitor Martínez [a Spanish lawyer] brings a briefcase, a telephone and a laptop.”
  • “11.20am: guest, Stella and Aitor Martínez head for the ladies’ room, where they hold the meeting.”
  • “1pm: they exit the ladies’ room.”

Secret cameras show Julian Assange's legal team passing through the Ecuadorian embassy.

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Secret cameras show Julian Assange’s legal team passing through the Ecuadorian embassy.
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El Pais

Assange’s paranoia about being spied on seems to have been merited, as Undercover Global learned wide-ranging details of his legal arrangements through their espionage efforts, according to El País.

Between December 2017 and March 2018 footage and audio from dozens of legal meetings revolving around Assange’s legal strategy were collected, El País’ report shows.

One plan, aired by Assange and his legal counsel, entailed sneaking him out of the embassy in disguise and flying him to Russia or Cuba. El País reports that Assange ultimately refused the plan, calling escape “a defeat.”

Demonstrators protest outside of Westminster Magistrates Court, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had a U.S. extradition request hearing, in London

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Demonstrators protest outside of Westminster Magistrates Court, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had a U.S. extradition request hearing, in London
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Reuters

Read more: US asks to extradite Julian Assange over leaked state secrets after he was arrested and forcibly removed from Ecuador’s London embassy

Another memo details a meeting between Assange and his legal team just after they’d discovered that WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning had been freed on January 12, 2017.

Assange surveilled passing the time in his bath robe.

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Assange surveilled passing the time in his bath robe.
source
El Pais

“The guest hides his agenda with his hands at all times. Stella peeks out the door, thinking somebody could be listening in,” a security employee wrote of the scene at the meeting.

Read more: Assange’s arrest was designed to make sure he didn’t press a mysterious panic button he said would bring dire consequences for Ecuador

Assange’s asylum was revoked by Ecuador on April 11, leaving British police free to arrest him on a warrant related to his failure to appear in court to face charges of sexual misconduct in Sweden, which he denies. The warrant had been out since 2012.

He was sentenced on May 1, and given 50 weeks in jail, at Belmarsh Prison.

On May 23, the US named Assange in a 17-count indictment relating to claims he hacked government secrets. If convicted Assange’s team say he could face 175 years in jail.

The US had previously requested his extradition in April.

WikiLeaks called the charges “madness” and the “end of the first amendment.”