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Assange: Manning 'the quintessential whistleblower'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has described Bradley Manning as "the quintessential whistleblower" after the US soldier was convicted of espionage charges.

He accused President Barack Obama of "national security extremism" after an American military judge convicted Bradley Manning over the biggest leak of classified documents in US history.

Praising Manning as "the most important journalistic source that the world has ever seen", Mr Assange said he did not receive a fair trial and called for the verdict to be overturned.

"It can never be that conveying true information to the public is espionage,"Assange said from inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, his home for more than a year.

Assange: Manning conviction 'dangerous precedent'

Julian Assange has hailed US soldier Bradley Manning as a 'hero'. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Speaking inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the conviction of soldier Bradley Manning on espionage charges set a "dangerous precedent".

Pte Manning, who has admitted leaking confidential information to WikiLeaks, was convicted of 19 charges.

Mr Assange said the only victim in the case had been the US government's "wounded pride", adding that Manning's disclosures had helped spark the Arab Spring.

Manning's sentencing will begin tomorrow but Mr Assange said there were two appeals within the US justice system as well as the Supreme Court.


UK firm denies bugging Ecuador Embassy in London

British security firm Surveillance Group Ltd has denied bugging the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

We have this morning heard an accusation the source of which is apparently Ricardo Patino, the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister suggesting that we have bugged the Ecuadorian Embassy.

This is completely untrue. The Surveillance Group do not and have never been engaged in any activities of this nature.

We have not been contacted by any member of the Ecuadorian Government and our first notification about this incident was via the press this morning.

This is a wholly untrue assertion.

– Timothy Young, CEO, Surveillance Group Ltd

Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patino had earlier said he had "reason to believe that the bugging was being carried out by the company, the Surveillance Group Limited... one of the biggest private investigation and undercover surveillance companies in the United Kingdom."

Ecuador implicates British surveillance firm in 'bugging'

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino has said he believes a British surveillance firm was involved in allegedly planting a secret listening device at the nation's embassy in London.

He told a news conference in Quito that he will request the "collaboration of the British government" on the issue:

After this discovery, the government of Ecuador will request the collaboration of the British government in investigating this issue to discover who is implicated in this espionage operation.

[We] have reason to believe that the bugging was being carried out of the biggest private investigation and undercover surveillance companies in the United Kingdom.

– Ricardo Patino, foreign minister for ecuador

Ecuador sending 'bug found in embassy' for tests

Ecuador's ambassador to the UK, Ana Alban, has told ITV News the microphone allegedly found inside her embassy is going to be sent away to be tested.

She said: "We found something, but we don't know what it is, and we are sending it to someone...I don't know how long it has been there."


WikiLeaks slams 'arrogance' of 'bug' in embassy

WikiLeaks have tweeted their distaste at the detention of Bolivia's president Morales in Vienna and the alleged discovery of a bug in the embassy of Ecuador.

Ecuador to release details of 'bug planter'

Julian Assange and Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino inside the Ecuadorian embassy, in June this year. Credit: PA Wire

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino said they will release information on who planted the bug inside their embassy in London.

Patino said the device was used to collect "all kinds" of information from the office and was discovered before his visit to Assange, who has been staying in the embassy for more than a year. In a press conference in Quito, he said:

"We found that the device was used to collect all kinds of information in our embassy office. I didn't make it public at that time for we didn't want to affect the visit.

But we immediately conducted an investigation to find the source and I will release our result at tomorrow's press conference including the source of the device, who was using it and which department installed it."

Ricardo added that he hopes relevant countries or organizations could offer a reasonable explanation for the hidden listening device.

'Hidden microphone' found in Ecuadorian Embassy

A hidden microphone has been found in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the country's foreign minister said.

It was found in the office of the ambassador Ana Alban during a routine search ahead of his visit to London on June 16, AFP reported.

Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patino at a press conference this morning. Credit: EBU

Ricardo Patino, the Ecuadorian foreign minister, said: "We are sorry to inform you that we have found a hidden microphone in our embassy in London."

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