Published: Fri, April 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Julian Assange arrested after seven years at Ecuadorian embassy in London

Julian Assange arrested after seven years at Ecuadorian embassy in London

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was expelled from his hideout in Ecuador's embassy in London Thursday and promptly arrested by London police amid concerns he faces extradition to the US.

In an update, the Metropolitan Police posted that Assange has been "further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities, at 10:53hrs after his arrival at a central London police station".

Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno said his country withdrew Assange's asylum after he "repeatedly violated global conventions".

He had been living in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012, but Ecuador President Lenin Moreno said the government revoked Assange's asylum because of his "discourteous and aggressive behaviour".

Police said Thursday that Assange would be presented before Westminster Magistrates' Court in London as soon as is possible.

Wikileaks founder Assange, 47, was escorted from the building by police at about 10.25am and footage showed him surrounded by officers as he was led into a waiting van.

Moreno said most recently, WikiLeaks released Vatican documents, and that before and after the release key members of the organization visited Assange, pointing to his continued relationship with a group "interfering in internal affairs of other states".

He claimed he would be extradited from Sweden to the USA because of his role in publishing secret American documents.

United Kingdom police has been seeking to arrest Assange since August 2012, when he skipped an appearance in court and breached his bail conditions. "He was arrested by the British police inside the Ecuadorian embassy minutes ago", the tweet reads.

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

The Wikileaks Twitter account said, "Ecuador has illegally terminated Assange political asylum in violation of worldwide law".

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed the arrest and said Assange would face court shortly.

"He has hidden from the truth for years and years and it is right that his future should be decided in the British judicial system", Hunt said.

After Assange's arrest, the US Justice Department unsealed its indictment against him.

Julian Assange first came to global prominence in 2010 when WikiLeaks, the organisation which he founded, released tens of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in what was the biggest leak in USA military history.

While the American case is still sealed, U.S. prosecutors in court filings past year may have inadvertently revealed that Mr Assange had been charged.

In a Twitter post, WikiLeaks said Ecuador "illegally terminated Assange's political asylum in violation of worldwide law".

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