LONDON — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuador embassy in London on Thursday, where he has been since 2012, according to the Metropolitan Police.
- Julian Assange has not left embassy since 2012
- He released thousands of classified military documents
- Read Assange's indictment here
- SEE BELOW: Watch the arrest of Julian Assange ▼
Assange has not left the embassy since August 2012 because he was afraid he would be arrested and extradited to the U.S. for releasing thousands of classified military and diplomatic files through his website.
The 47-year-old Australian computer programmer was taken to a central London police station before being sent to the "Westminster Magistrates' Court as soon as is possible," authorities in London said.
UPDATE: Department of Justice just released the full indictment filed against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who British authorities arrested this morning at the Ecuadorian Embassy on behalf of a U.S. extradition request.— Greg Angel (@NewsGuyGreg) April 11, 2019
STORY: https://t.co/f6XBsJmf43 (1/3) pic.twitter.com/8S6hrHFHcU
Both the Metropolitan Police and WikiLeaks said the Ecuadorian ambassador invited authorities into the embassy and arrested Assange.
URGENT— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 11, 2019
Julian Assange did not "walk out of the embassy". The Ecuadorian ambassador invited British police into the embassy and he was immediately arrested.
Home Secretary of the United Kingdom Sajid Javid confirmed via Twitter that Assange was arrested.
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
WikiLeaks claimed that Ecuador illegally ended Assange's political asylum for violating 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
It has been reported that Assange's relationship with the Ecuadorian government has turned tense recently. Ecuador placed protocols on Assange in October. Some of the rules include visits, medical spending, food and internet usage, among other things.
However, WikiLeaks came out and claimed that Ecuadorian authorities secretly filmed meetings Assange had with his lawyers and a doctor.
Ecuador caught in espionage operation against its refugee Julian Assange which:— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 10, 2019
1. Spied on his legal, medical visits
2. Stole legal notes during the middle of a court hearing against them
3. Secretly cooperated with US
4. Tried to extort him for 3M Eurohttps://t.co/6N1akgaVI9
Ecuador President Lenín Moreno explained why the country withdrew its diplomatic asylum to Assange in an English-captioned video he posted on Twitter.
Ecuador decidió soberanamente retirar el asilo diplomático a Julian Assange por violar reiteradamente convenciones internacionales y protocolo de convivencia. #EcuadorSoberano pic.twitter.com/V02pvvtPY0— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) April 11, 2019
Ecuador's former president Rafael Correa called Moreno a "corrupt man" and slammed him for allowing British police to arrest Assange, calling it "a crime that humanity will never forget."
The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history, Lenin Moreno, allowed the British police to enter our embassy in London to arrest Assange.— Rafael Correa (@MashiRafael) April 11, 2019
Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget. https://t.co/XhT51MA6c6
Assange has been dealing with legal issues. He was accused of rape, but the case was later dropped. In addition, there was a warrant for his arrest in Britain for failing to comply with bail terms.