WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police on Thursday after they were invited into the Ecuadorean embassy where he has been holed up since 2012.
“Julian Assange, 47, has today, Thursday 11 April, been arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) at the Embassy of Ecuador,” police said.
Police said they arrested Assange after being “invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorean government’s withdrawal of asylum.”
VIDEO: UK media outlets are broadcasting video claiming to be the moment Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested and removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after seven years. pic.twitter.com/0IBPWiVCNi
Michael Gravesande (@OldBlackHack) April 11, 2019
Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation. That probe was later dropped, but Assange fears he could be extradited to face charges in the United States, where federal prosecutors are investigating WikiLeaks.
Julian Assange was arrested and taken into custody at a central London police station and he will be brought before Westminster Magistrates’ Court, police said.
Assange’s relationship with his hosts collapsed after Ecuador accused him of leaking information about President Lenin Moreno’s personal life. Moreno had previously said Assange has violated the terms of his asylum.
WikiLeaks has said Ecuador has illegally terminated Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law.
“Ecuador withdrew Julian Assange’s diplomatic asylum for repeated violations of international conventions,” said President Moreno.
Moreno said Ecuador received a UK guarantee that Julian Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face the death penalty.
Junior foreign office minister has said it is for the courts to decide what happens next with Julian Assange.
Junior foreign minister says I look forward to a strong bilateral relationship between the UK and Ecuador in the years ahead.
British interior minister Sajid Javid will make a statement to parliament later on Thursday on the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the opposition Labour Party said on Twitter.
Kremlin has said Moscow hopes the rights of Julian Assange will not be violated after his detention by British authorities.