WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange arrested, taken into custody in London

London police said Assange was taken to a nearby station and will then appear at Westminster Magistrates Court.

Assange has been living in the embassy for nearly seven years.

In a statement London's Metropolitan Police said Mr. Assange had been arrested for failing to surrender to court on charges of failing to show up in court.

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno announced earlier that "Ecuador has made a sovereign decision to withdraw diplomatic asylum from Julian Assange over regular violations of worldwide conventions".

Sweden later dropped its investigation, but Assange remained at the embassy over fears Britain might extradite him to the United States in connection with WikiLeaks' publication of classified USA government documents.

The 47-year-old Australian, who denies the rape claims, said he feared Sweden would pass him on to United States authorities if he was extradited. Police said the arrest was also related to Assange breaching British bail conditions. "Thank you Ecuador and President @Lenin Moreno for your cooperation with @foreignoffice to ensure Assange faces justice".

Shortly after the arrest, WikiLeaks tweeted that the Ecuadorian ambassador invited the British police into the embassy in order to arrest Assange. A secret grand jury has been convened to prepare an indictment against Assange and key Trump officials have said that prosecuting Assange is a priority.


Both the Departments of Justice and State told CBS News they were aware of Assange's arrest, but referred to United Kingdom authorities for further information.

"Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law", Jeremy Hunt, Britain's foreign secretary, wrote on Twitter. "Julian Assange, the hostile and threatening declarations of its allied organization, against Ecuador, and especially the transgression of worldwide treaties, have led the situation to a point where the asylum of Mr. Assange is unsustainable and no longer viable", Moreno said in a video released on Twitter.

The British Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Sir Alan Duncan said that it is "absolutely right that Assange will face justice in the proper way in the UK".

The rules were imposed following claims Mr Assange interfered with the affairs of other states, blocked security cameras and mistreated guards and even accessed the security files of the embassy without permission.

Why was Julian Assange in Ecuador's embassy in London?

Moreno specifically cited WikiLeaks' release of a batch of Vatican documents earlier this year, before listing a number of activities at the embassy in London that he did not agree with.


Popular

CONNECT