WikiLeaks founder arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy
Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder was granted refuge in 2012 while on bail in the UK over sexual assault allegations against him in Sweden.
At the time, Assange claimed that if he was extradited to Sweden he might be arrested by the US and face charges relating to WikiLeaks’s publication of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said in a statement: “Julian Assange, 47, has today, Thursday April 11, been arrested by officers from the MPS at the Embassy of Ecuador, Hans Crescent, SW1, on a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates’ Court on June 29, 2012, for failing to surrender to the court.
“He 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 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.”
WikiLeaks, in a statement shortly after the arrest, said: “Ecuador has illegally terminated Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law. He was arrested by the British police inside the Ecuadorian embassy minutes ago.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: “Nearly seven years after entering the Ecuadorian embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation and @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law.”