Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Co-Founder, Is Arrested in U.K.
Assange had been staying at the embassy for seven years but on Thursday morning that came to an end.
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks co-founder, was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London after Ecuador withdrew asylum Thursday.
Assange had been staying at the embassy since 2012 but that came to an end Thursday morning after Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno announced the decision due to Assange’s “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols.”
Moreno said that Assange “violated the norm of not intervening in internal affairs of other states.”
“The most recent incident occurred in January 2019, when WikiLeaks leaked Vatican documents. Key members of that organization visited Mr. Assange before and after such illegal acts,” Moreno said.
British authorities said they arrested Assange, 47, for his failure to surrender to court on a warrant issued in 2012. Assange is reportedly in custody at a central London police station while he awaits a court appearance. Assange could face extradition to the U.S. over his WikiLeaks revelations.
“I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the U.K.,” the country’s home secretary, Sajid Javid, said in a tweet.
Assange had been at the embassy initially to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault charge but after that was dropped, he stayed at the embassy, fearing extradition to the U.S.
WikiLeaks published thousands of emails from Democratic National Committee staffers in 2016. In November, it was revealed that Assange had been charged by the U.S. for releasing classified documents, according to The New York Times.
"We are very grateful to the Government of Ecuador under President Moreno for the action they have taken,” Alan Duncan, the British Foreign Office's minister of state for Europe and the Americas, said in a statement. "Today's events follow extensive dialogue between our two countries.”
The statement also added that Assange would face “proper justice” in the U.K.
Last week, Assange’s legal team condemned the idea of Ecuador removing his asylum and said his removal would “violate refugee law.”
"It will be a sad day for democracy if the U.K. and Ecuadorean governments are willing to act as accomplices to the Trump administration's determination to prosecute a publisher for publishing truthful information," the statement read.
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