International News

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange arrested from Ecuador’s embassy in London

LONDON: On Tuesday, the seven year stay of Julian Assange- WikiLeaks founder at embassy of Ecuador in London came to an end when police entered the building in order to arrest him after Ecuador withdrew his asylum.

Since 2012, Assange has been living at the embassy in London’s plush Knightsbridge district, when he found shelter there after the accusation of sexual
assault against him in Sweden.

In a footage which was shot by Ruptly- the video news agency, it was seen that there was a frantic-looking Assange, with a large white beard. He was being carried down the embassy steps by several men into a police van.

On Twitter, Sajid Javid- the British Home Secretary said that, “I can confirm that Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK.”

It was written by him while thanking Ecuador for its “cooperation” in the long-running case that, “No one is above the law.”

Ecuador was accused by WikiLeaks for violating international law by withdrawing his asylum. It was said by WikiLeaks that the police had been invited by the country’s ambassador to London into the embassy building for the purpose of carrying out the arrest.

The whistleblowing website said on Twitter that, “Ecuador has illegally terminated Assange political asylum in violation of international law.”

Britain was accused by Russia for “strangling freedom” with Assange’s arrest, in a Facebook message by Maria Zakharova- the foreign ministry spokeswoman.

Later on Thursday, the 47-year-old Australian was due to appear in court. He faces prosecution for violating the conditions of his bail in Britain in 2012.

He had decline to leave the embassy, afraid of the ultimate extradition to the United States where it was said by WikiLeaks that he faces allegations over his website publishing huge caches of hacked State Department and Pentagon files.

Last week, the warning had been given by WikiLeaks that the official cancelation of asylum of Assange could happen within “hours to days”.

– ‘Truman Show’ in embassy –

On Wednesday, it had been claimed by WikiLeaks that “dubious characters”, who had held the security camera footage of Assange inside the embassy, was blackmailing WikiLeaks.

Ecuador authorities was accused by Kristinn Hrafnsson- the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks for gathering the images, which he said and then found their way into the hands of a group in Spain, who were demanding $3 million not to publish them.

There are thousands of photographs and gigabytes of video footage in which Assange meeting with lawyers and visitors was shown and also there was a video of him receiving a medical check-up, are included in the documents.

In 2017, when the power was taken by (President Lenin) Moreno in Ecuador, it was claimed by Hrafnsson that Julian Assange has been living in a Truman Show type situation” with constant surveillance.

The embassy staff were accused by the editor also for photocopying a legal document belonged to Assange’s lawyer Aitor Martinez.

It was believed by WikiLeaks that, in order to extradite Assange to face charges, the United States is collaborative with Ecuador, and that embassy documents were “quite likely shared with the Trump administration”, although there was no proof of this offered.

On Tuesday, it was said by Ecuador that claim of Assange’s asylum was reassessing by it.

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