Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange arrested in London

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

Julian Assange, the co-founder of Wikileaks, the online news service that publishes secret information, news leaks and anonymous information, has been arrested in London.

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy seven years ago as he sough to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case. That case has since been dropped.

London’s Metropolitan Police issued a statement confirming the arrest, which was also filmed by media crews based outside the embassy.

"He [Assange] has been taken into custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates' Court as soon as is possible”, the Met Police said.

“The MPS had a duty to execute the warrant, on behalf of Westminster Magistrates' Court, and was invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum."

The Met Police posted an update on its Twitter feed saying Assange had been "further arrested in relation to an extradition warrant on behalf of the United States authorities. He remains in custody at a central London police station. 

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Ecuador claims violations

Ecuador's President, Lenin Moreno, said it withdrew Assange's asylum after his repeated violations of international conventions, the BBC reported.

However, Wikileaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in withdrawing its protection of its editor in chief.

“Ecuador has illegally terminated Assange political asylum in violation of international law. He was arrested by the British police inside the Ecuadorian embassy minutes ago.”

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Assange, 47, has been staying in the Ecuadorean embassy in central London since 2012. He had sought asylum there to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape allegation charge. Assange has always maintained his innocence and the charges were later dropped.

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