Written by Staff Writer
11 Apr, 2019 | 6:54 pm
Colombo (News 1st): Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.
The Met Police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court and following a US extradition request. Ecuador’s president said it withdrew his asylum after repeated violations of international conventions.
But Wikileaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”.
URGENT: Ecuador has illigally terminated Assange political asylum in violation of international law. He was arrested by the British police inside the Ecuadorian embassy minutes ago.https://t.co/6Ukjh2rMKD
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 11, 2019
Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: “I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK.”
Nearly 7yrs after entering the Ecuadorean Embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation & @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) April 11, 2019
Julian Assange, an Australian national, set up Wikileaks in 2006 with the aim of obtaining and publishing confidential documents and images. The organisation hit the headlines four years later when it released footage of US soldiers killing civilians from a helicopter in Iraq.
Assange had been in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012, after seeking asylum there to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape allegation – which he denied and was later dropped.
But he still faces a lesser charge of skipping bail in 2012 and he says this could lead to an extradition to the US for publishing US secrets on the Wikileaks website.
After his arrest for failing to surrender to the court, police said he had been further arrested on behalf of US authorities under an extradition warrant.
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