After holing up at the embassy since 2012, the world’s #1 leaker is finally taken into custody
© By Peter Barry Chowka
Breaking this morning: shortly after dawn today on the U.S. East coast: WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested by London police and taken into custody and off to jail shortly before 11 AM London time today.
Assange was wanted by British police for skipping bail in August 2012, while he was under investigation for sexual assault and rape in Sweden.
Dramatic video of the arrest is here: https://youtu.be/rY6v63jMyl4
According to the BBC in an article posted less than an hour ago as I write:
Mr Assange took refuge in the embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.
The Met Police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court.
Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno said it withdrew Mr Assange’s asylum after his repeated violations to international conventions.
But WikiLeaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”.
One of the questions to be resolved is if Assange will now be extradited to the United States where he faces charges.
The BBC also reported:
Mr Assange, 47, had refused to leave the embassy, claiming if he did he would be extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.
Scotland Yard said it was invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.
Mr Assange would remain in custody at a central London police station, before appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court “as soon as is possible”, the statement added.
UK foreign minister Sir Alan Duncan said the arrest followed “extensive dialogue between our two countries”.
It comes a day after Wikileaks said it had uncovered an extensive spying operation against its co-founder at the Ecuadorean embassy.
Peter Barry Chowka writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications. Peter’s new website is http://peter.media. Follow him on Twitter at @pchowka