Julian Assange arrested by UK police after Ecuadorian embassy revokes his asylum
- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday morning.
- There has been a warrant issued for him since June 2012, but he has been able to avoid arrest because Ecuador granted him asylum and housed him in its London embassy.
- He could face an extradition request from the US over WikiLeaks' involvement in publishing sensitive US military documents from Chelsea Manning in 2010, and Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 presidential elections.
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, was arrested by British police at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday morning.
The London Metropolitan Police's arrest comes after Ecuador revoked his asylum. The Latin American country confirmed the withdrawal in a video posted on Twitter.
The Ecuadorian ambassador "invited British police into the embassy", where they arrested him, Wikileaks tweeted.
Lenín Moreno, the president of Ecuador, confirmed its expulsion of Assange in a Thursday video, saying: "The patience of Ecuador has reached its limit on the behavior of Mr Assange," noting that Assange installed electronic equipment prohibited in the embassy, mistreated security guards, and accessed the embassy's security files.
There has been a warrant issued for Assange's arrest since June 29, 2012, for failing to appear in court to face charges of sexual misconduct in Sweden, which he denies.
Though Swedish prosecutors dropped the investigation against him in 2017, he also faced arrest for breaching former bail conditions in the UK.
But Assange, an Australian national, had been able to avoid arrest because Ecuador granted him asylum in June 2012. He has been living in its embassy in west London since then.
WikiLeaks reported last week that a "high level source within the Ecuadorian state" had said that Assange would be expelled within "hours to days", and that it had already agreed to let the UK arrest Assange.
He could now face an extradition request from the US over WikiLeaks' involvement in releasing sensitive military documents from US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning in 2010 and leaking Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 presidential elections.
Assange is currently in custody at a central London police station and will be taken to Westminster Magistrates' Court "as soon as is possible," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
Sajid Javid, the British home secretary, also confirmed news of Assange's arrest in a tweet, adding: "No one is above the law."
More to follow.
For more, go to Business Insider South Africa.
Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa:
- There’s a simple way to save a lot of money on a Gautrain ticket to the airport
- Airlines have stopped buying Boeing 737 Max planes in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash
- Tekkie Town’s founders want to stop an ‘increasingly desperate’ Steinhoff from selling the chain they hope to claim back
- Gen Z workers expect a promotion after one year on the job, and their bosses are creating new titles and throwing 'workversary' parties to keep them happy
- 'Why won't my iPhone charge?': How to diagnose and fix common iPhone charging problems
- Nedbank took R9 million in bonuses away from its executives – but they can double that by not cooking the books