WATCH | Julian Assange arrested in embassy

WikiLeaks founder could now be extradited from London to the US

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was removed from the Equadorian embassy by British police on April 11 2019 after Equador's new president, Lenin Moreno, removed his asylum status. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police and carried out of the Ecuadorean embassy on Thursday after his South American hosts abruptly revoked his seven-year asylum, paving the way for his extradition to the United States. The US alleged Assange engaged in a 2010 conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, who served seven years in a military prison for leaking classified data, and charged him with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion with a maximum penalty of five years.

An agitated, frail-looking Assange, with white hair and a white beard, was carried head first out of the embassy shortly after 9am by at least seven men to a waiting police van.

“The whole House will welcome the news this morning that the Metropolitan Police have arrested Julian Assange, arrested for breach of bail after nearly seven years in the Ecuadorean embassy,” Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament to cheers from MPs.

Police said they arrested Assange, 47, after being invited into the embassy following the Ecuadorean government’s withdrawal of asylum.

Assange’s supporters said Ecuador had betrayed him at the behest of Washington and that the termination of his asylum was illegal. To some, Assange is a hero for exposing what supporters cast as abuse of power by modern states and for championing free speech.

But to others, he is a dangerous rebel who has undermined US security.

Assange later appeared in the Westminster Magistrate’s Court. Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in June 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation.

Sweden dropped that investigation in 2017, but Assange was arrested on Thursday for breaking the rules of his original bail in London. –