Julian Assange arrested at Ecuadorian embassy in London

WikiLeaks founder taken into custody on US extradition warrant and for failing to surrender to bail

LONDON. (Agencias). – Police arrested the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, from the Ecuadorian embassy in London after the Ecuadorian government withdrew his political asylum.

Julian Assange, was taken into custody for “failing to surrender to bail” and on a “US extradition warrant”, after Metropolitan police officers were allowed to enter into the embassy by the Ecuadorian government, where he had taken refuge for almost seven years to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was also wanted by the authorities in regards of a sexual assault investigation.

Shortly after 10am, he was arrested by plainclothes officers and put in a police van, after a warrant was issued by Westminster magistrates court on 29 June 2012, when he failed to surrender to the court. Assange had refused to leave the embassy, claiming he would be extradited to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

Ingrid Isgren Sweden’s chief prosecutor, released a statement in where she said: “The arrest was news to us we are following the developments of the case(…) A preliminary investigation can be resumed in Sweden as long as the suspected crime is not subject to the statute of limitation, she added. In this case, the suspected crime would be subject to statute of limitations in mid-August 2020”.

President of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, said on Twitter: “In a sovereign decision Ecuador withdrew the asylum status to Julian Assange after his repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols.”

 WikiLeaks replied to the Ecuadorian government saying they had acted illegally in terminating Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”.

An arrest warrant was issued for Assange in 2010 for two separate allegations – one of rape and one of molestation – after he visited Sweden for a speaking trip. He launched a legal battle against extradition to Sweden but when that failed entered the Ecuadorian embassy in Hans Crescent and requested political asylum.

Assange’s arrest comes one day after WikiLeaks accused the Ecuadorian government of an “extensive spying operation” against him, during which they claimed meetings with lawyers and a doctor inside the embassy over the past year were secretly filmed.

The arrest was welcomed by the British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who tweeted: “Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law. He has hidden from the truth for years. Thank you Ecuador and President Lenín Moreno for your cooperation with the Foreign Office to ensure Assange faces justice.”

The Yucatan Times
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