Julian Assange arrested at Ecuadorian embassy in London

Source: The Guardian | April 11, 2019 | Caroline Davies, David Crouch, Kate Lyons and Damien Gayle

WikiLeaks founder is found guilty of breaching bail by Westminster magistrates

Police have forcibly removed the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and arrested him, after the Ecuadorian government withdrew asylum.

Appearing before Westminster magistrates, Assange was found guilty of breaching bail and was told he would face a jail sentence of up to 12 months when he is sentenced at crown court.

The 47-year-old had been taken into police custody for failing to surrender to bail and on a US extradition warrant, after Metropolitan police officers were invited into the Knightsbridge embassy. He had taken refuge there for almost seven years to avoid extradition to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation.

He was being held on Thursday on a warrant issued by Westminster magistrates court on 29 June 2012, when he failed to surrender to the court.

Earlier, footage showed a bearded Assange shouting and gesticulating as he was carried out in handcuffs by plainclothes officers and put in a police van shortly after 10am.

Assange had refused to leave the embassy, claiming he would be extradited to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

Scotland Yard said: “The MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] has a duty to execute the warrant, on behalf of Westminster magistrates court, and was invited into the embassy by the ambassador following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.”

Speaking to parliament, Theresa May thanked the Met and the Ecuadorian government and said: “This goes to show that in the United Kingdom no one is above the law.”


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