WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested in London


International desk, April 11: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested by police in the UK.The 47-year-old was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

He was arrested on a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 29 June 2012, for failing to surrender to the court, RT reported.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said he has been taken into custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as is possible.

The police said they were invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.

Julian Assange first came to international 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 US military history.

It sent shockwaves throughout the political and military worlds. US soldier Chelsea Manning would go on to be convicted in relation to the case, imprisoned and subsequently pardoned.

As the leak was being investigated, Swedish authorities launched an inquiry relating to allegations of sexual assault against Julian Assange.

He denied the allegations and said he feared the changes were a ruse to get him extradited to Sweden to the US in relation to the Wikileaks material.

As a result, he sought refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy, breaking bail conditions which had been imposed in the UK.

In 2017 Swedish authorities dropped their investigation into Mr Assange saying that all possibilities to conduct an investigation had been exhausted. But a British arrest warrant in relation to him breaching his bail conditions by taking refuge in the Embassy still stood.

He lost his bid to have the arrest warrant dropped.

In October last year, Mr Assange said he was to take legal action against the government of Ecuador, accusing it of violating his “fundamental rights and freedoms”.

The move came several months after Ecuador cut off communications for Mr Assange.

WikiLeaks tweeted in response to today’s arrest saying Ecuador had “illegally terminated” Julian Assange’s political asylum.