The son of Julian Assange’s senior judge is linked to an anti-data leak company created by the UK intelligence establishment and staffed by officials recruited from US intelligence agencies behind that country’s prosecution of the WikiLeaks founder.
By Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis and cross-posted from The Daily Maverick.
The son of Lady Emma Arbuthnot, the Westminster chief magistrate overseeing the extradition proceedings of Julian Assange, is the vice-president and cyber-security adviser of a firm heavily invested in a company founded by GCHQ and MI5 which seeks to stop data leaks, it can be revealed.
Alexander Arbuthnot’s employer, the private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, has a multimillion-poundinvestment in Darktrace, a cyber-security company which is also staffed by officials recruited directly from the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
These intelligence agencies are behind the US government’s prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secret documents. Darktrace has also had access to two former UK prime ministers and former US President Barack Obama.
The revelations raise further concerns about potential conflicts of interests and appearance of bias concerning Lady Arbuthnot and the ties of her family members to the UK and US military and intelligence establishments. Lady Arbuthnot’s husband is Lord James Arbuthnot, a former UK defence minister who has extensive links to the UK military community.
As far as is known, Lady Arbuthnot has failed to disclose any potential conflicts of interest in her role overseeing Assange’s case. However, UK legal guidance states that “any conflict of interest in a litigious situation must be declared.”
Her son, Alexander Arbuthnot, a graduate of Britain’s elite school Eton, joined Vitruvian Partners as vice-president in December 2018 and is likely to be managing the firm’s Darktrace account. Vitruvian, which has a portfolio of over £4-billion, made its first investment in Darktrace in April 2018, leading a consortium of firms committing £50-million…