I have got to admit, it is rather amusing piecing all of this information together as it is coming out. For example, you might remember two stories from last week. The first being an accidental leak of sexual assault charges to be filed against Julian Assange, and the second report outlining veiled charges to be filed against Julian Assange attached to the indictment of 12 Russian spies/hackers believed to be the sources behind Wikileaks release of Hillary Clinton and the DNC’s emails in the fall of 2016.
However, new research released by Catalin Cimpanu of ZDNet today shows that just days before the US Justice Department accidentally leaked future charges to be filed against Assange on November 15th, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation filed a court document in New York City on November 9th requesting that all charges levied against those 12 Russian spies/hackers be dropped/thrown out of court. In the 15-page letter, the Russian Federation argues that the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) grants Russia immunity in this matter.
As their letter states, “the FSIA provides that foreign sovereign States enjoy absolute jurisdictional immunity from suit unless a plaintiff can demonstrate that one of the FSIA’s enumerated ‘exceptions’ applies.” Moreover, “the DNC’s allegations regarding a purported ‘military attack’ by ‘Russia’s military intelligence agency’ do not fall within any of the FSIA’s enumerated exceptions to the Russian Federation’s sovereign immunity.” More specifically, Russia argued that a country’s military operations are immune from civil lawsuits like the one filed by the DNC, stating that “any alleged military attack is a quintessential sovereign act that does not fall within any exception to the FSIA or the customary international law of foreign sovereign immunity. The Russian Federation’s sovereign immunity with respect to claims based upon such allegations is absolute.”
View/Download Full FSIA Act: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-90/pdf/STATUTE-90-Pg2891.pdf
Russia also points out that, given US military operations all around the world, perhaps no other country on Earth has benefited from such international immunity over the decades. Stating that “the United States benefits significantly from the sovereign immunity that it enjoys (and U.S. officials enjoy) in foreign courts around the world with respect to the United States’ frequent acts of cyber intrusion and political interference. As current and former U.S. officials have acknowledged on many occasions, the United States–acting primarily through the National Security Agency (NSA) within the U.S. Department of Defense–is one of the most prolific practitioners of cyberattacks and cyber-intrusions on the planet.”
As the Russian Ministry of Defense is quick to point out, the United States of America currently hosts over 900 active duty international military bases outside of US borders, whereas Russia only operates two. Moreover, the United States has dropped bombs on 7 different countries since 2001, compared to Russia’s 3. Additionally, no one should be ignorant enough to think that Russia is the only country spying on or launching cyber attacks against others, including their own allies. For example, you might remember Barack Obama was caught hacking/spying on Angela Merkel and other European allies in 2013, well before the Russian hacking fiasco in 2016? Therefore, if the United States and/or New York City was ever arrogant enough to bring this particular case forward against Russia, it would only serve to open up a “Pandora’s Box” of international lawsuits to be filed back against the United States under the same grounds -something that Russia argues is not in the US’s best interests.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 17, 2017
Given wiretapping headlines & Merkel visit, a reminder that Merkel actually did have her cell phone tapped by Obama administration.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) March 17, 2017
The Russian Federation argues that such incidents outlined in the US’s indictment from this July are “State-to-State matters” and should therefore be resolved between governments, not in courts. “The DNC’s allegations do not permit the U.S. District Court to exercise jurisdiction in this case” argues the Russian Federation, demanding that the US throw out to case before it ever goes to trial.
Full Motion Filed by Russian Federation:393601847-Russian-Embassy-Letter