WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London—that’s almost seven years after he took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case.According to a short note released by London’s Metropolitan Police Service, Assange was arrested immediately after the Ecuadorian government today withdraws his political asylum.Assange has now been taken into custody at a central London police station, from where he will be presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as possible.
U.S. Department of Justice also confirmed today that Assange would face extradition proceedings for his alleged role in “one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States.”
“The indictment [unsealed today] alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications.”
Following his arrest on Thursday, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno tweeted, “In a sovereign decision, Ecuador withdrew the asylum status to Julian Assange after his repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols.”However, WikiLeaks said Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law.”Assange’s arrest comes a day after WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson accused the Ecuadorian government of an extensive spying operation against Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy.Assange was wanted by British police for failing to surrender to the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in August 2012, while he was under investigation for sexual assault and rape allegations in Sweden.[embedded content]
Although Sweden dropped its preliminary investigation into the rape accusation against Julian Assange in 2017, …