WikiLeaks Founder Assange Arrested In London

12 April, 2019, 09:46 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Julian Assange is the founder of the Wikileaks website that published US Government secrets

London Police made the announcement on Thursday night (AEST) that they had taken him into custody - but Wikileaks claimed that Ecuador had "illegally terminated" his political asylum by inviting police into the embassy to arrest him.

London police said Mr Assange was arrested moments after Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said on Twitter that the country had withdrawn his diplomatic asylum.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said that Assange's asylum was withdrawn following repeated violations of global conventions.

The relationship between Assange and his host country has soured considerably in recent months, resulting in the WkiLeaks co-founder taking legal action against Ecuador last October for allegedly violating his "fundamental rights and freedoms".

But Assange, an Australian national, had been able to avoid arrest because Ecuador granted him asylum in June 2012.

WikiLeaks tweeted in response to Moreno statements, stating that the withdrawal of Assange's political asylum breaks global law.

United Kingdom police officers arrested today Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks project that for years leaked state secrets from governments all over the world.

Video posted online by Ruptly, the agency wing of Russia Today, showed about five to six men in suits forcibly escorting Assange out of the embassy building, surrounding him as he staggered down the steps and boarded a police van.

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He could face an extradition request from the United States over WikiLeaks' involvement in publishing sensitive United States military documents from Chelsea Manning in 2010, and Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 presidential elections.

However, it is unclear whether that could change if US prosecutors are able to provide assurances to Britain that Assange would not face the death penalty if he was brought to trial.

Mr Assange's exit from the embassy ends a almost seven-year standoff between the controversial transparency advocate and British authorities.

"Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law", UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter.

Assange has now been taken from Ecuador's embassy and is now at a central London police station.

He accused Assange of discourteous and aggressive behaviour and Wikileaks of making "hostile and threatening declarations" against Ecuador.

Massi Fritz said in a text message sent to The Associated Press that "we are going to do everything" to have the Swedish case reopened "so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape".

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