US. The authorities have made the first arrest in connection with the mysterious robbery of the North Korean Embassy in Spain, where masked assailants have arrested employees, stolen computers and fled to the United States, such as two persons familiar with the matter.
The authorities arrested Christopher Ahn, a former US Navy and member of Free Joseon, a group dedicated to the overthrow of the North Korean Kim Dynasty. On Friday he appeared in a federal court in Los Angeles, where his lawyer requested the closure of the case. The court decided in favor of the lawyer on the objections of the government, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice.
Regardless, federal officials stormed the home of Free Joseon's leader Adrian Hong, saying that the people familiar with the incident were talking about anonymity to discuss a sensitive law enforcement issue.
An FBI spokesman posted questions about the case to the Department of Justice.
"We will not comment on this particular issue at this point," said Nicole Navas Oxman. a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice.
The developments represent a dramatic turnaround for the revolutionary group, which wanted to help the US authorities by handing over computers and other items stolen by the North Korean embassy that might be "enormous" in intelligence.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Hong's lawyer Lee Wolosky said he was "dismayed about it" that the US Department of Justice had been able to exercise arrest warrants against US persons resulting from North Korean criminal charges Regimes revealed. "
" The last US citizen to be in custody of the Kim regime returned home for torture and did not survive, "he told Otto Warmbier, a US college student, who was arrested in 2016 North Korea was imprisoned and died shortly after he was flown back to the United States in 2017.
"We have no assurance from the US government regarding the US security and safety of US citizens now a goal, "Wolosky said in the statement.
The Justice Department spokeswoman noted that "extradition treaties generally provide that a person who has been extradited to another country for prosecution can not be subject to extradition to a third country without the consent of the original country."
The group claimed responsibility for the raid last month after a Spanish judge revoked secrecy in the case, accusing Hong and two other men of participating in the incident as part of a ten-member group.
The cheeky daybreak in February took place just five days before President Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, and asked if this was the work of government intelligence services.
Judge Jose de la Mata said that evidence has been found for various crimes, including abuses, threats, ill level imprisonment and burglary of a "criminal organization. The judge said one of the men later shared the FBI material that was stolen from the embassy.
Free Joseon's March statement, also known as the Cheollima Civil Defense group, plunged into Spanish media reports According to the group, beaten and gagged embassy staff.
"All residents of the embassy were treated with dignity and necessary caution," the group wrote, claiming that "no other governments" were aware of the attack before it happened Media reports in Spain claimed that the CIA was involved.
State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said Tuesday that the US administration "has nothing to do with the incident."
The group's events can not be described However, Wolosky said that his client can check his account, including that the Free Joseon members in the embassy were invited.
According to Spanish media reports, the attackers tied the Embassy staff with a rope, put their hoods over their heads and asked them questions
More than an hour after the raid, a woman was said to have fled, and her cries of help warned a neighbor who contacted the police. When the authorities arrived at the embassy, a man opened the door and told them it was not a problem. Moments later, the embassy gates opened, and the attackers stormed to two embassy cars and raced off, according to local reports. The vehicles were abandoned in a nearby street.
Ahn, who had appeared before the US District Court for the Central District of California, was involved in the evacuation of the 2017 group of nephew Kim Jong Un from Macao, as potential threats threatened life surfaced, according to Wolosky. The nephew was the son of Kim Jong Nam, the exiled half-brother of the North Korean leader, who was killed the same year in a nerve gas attack at a Malaysian airport. It was believed that Kim Jong Nam had been killed by the regime, making his son a likely target.
Free Joseon's involvement in the raid was first reported by The Post in March.
Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.