Cover Photo Credit: Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L), WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (R). Jack Taylor/Getty Images (L), Leah Millis/Reuters (R).
Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State under President Donald Trump, has been summoned by a Spanish court to explain an alleged US government plot to assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to ABC Spain.
The alleged plot was first revealed by Yahoo News in September, which reported that senior CIA and Trump administration officials discussed possibly kidnapping or killing Assange after being angered by Wikileaks' publication of sensitive CIA hacking tools.
The discussions took place "at the highest levels" of the Trump administration, a former senior counterintelligence official told the outlet, with officials even requesting "sketches" or "options" for how to assassinate Assange.
Pompeo has been called to appear in the Spanish court in connection with a probe into whether Spanish security firm UC Global spied on Assange while providing security for the Ecuadorian embassy in London, sources close to the case told ABC Spain.
Assange sought political asylum to live in the embassy for seven years before being ousted in 2019.
Spanish National High Court Judge Santiago Pedraz summoned Pompeo and former US counterintelligence official William Evanina as witnesses to explain the alleged assassination plot and whether they received information through the security firm.
Evanina allegedly previously confessed to having access to security camera footage and audio recordings from inside the Ecuadorian Embassy, Assange's lawyers claimed in letters seen by Spanish outlet The Objective.
Aitor Martinez, a lawyer for Assange, previously claimed in court documents that the alleged spying plot "would have been orchestrated from the United States," Reuters reported.
Judge Pedraz agreed to summon Pompeo and Evanina at the urging of Assange's lawyers, the ABC Spain report says.
They have been asked to appear in the Spanish court in June and can testify via videoconference, according to the outlet.
Pompeo is yet to comment on the case and confirm whether he will appear in court.
Pompeo was the director of the CIA from 2017 to 2018 and then was appointed Trump's secretary of state in April 2018.