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Co-founder WikiLeaks Julian Assange arrested after seven years in London

Co-founder WikiLeaks Julian Assange arrested after seven years in London

Julian Assange, co-founder of WikiLeaks, was arrested in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange spent the past seven years there, after being accused of sexual violence in Sweden. That’s what The Guardian says.

Assange ended up in the embassy in London in 2012, when he was free on bail in the United Kingdom. Assange stated that if he was extradited to Sweden, he might be arrested by the United States. That country has anticipated it on Assange because of many sensitive leaks of government documents on WikiLeaks. That’s why Assange didn’t leave the embassy when Sweden dropped the charges against him in 2017.

The relationship between Assange and Ecuador has become bad during the seven years he has been there. For example, Assange’s Internet access was shut down in March of last year, and he was no longer allowed to receive visitors. The President of Ecuador now claims that Mr Assange has repeatedly violated the conditions of his asylum in the embassy in London. That’s why the asylum would have been withdrawn.

The British police state in a statement that the country “had a duty to carry out the arrest warrant” and was invited by the Ambassador after the Ecuadorian government had withdrawn Assange’s asylum. Only last week, John Pilger, journalist and defender of Assange, called on people to “fill the streets in front of the embassy and protect Assange and show solidarity with a brave man”.

Prosecution US

The US authorities have never officially announced that they have indicted Assange, but an error in a document filed in an unrelated case in November last year hinted that criminal prosecution may have been prepared in secret.

The document was wrongly filed by U.S. prosecutors. The document mentions indictments against someone called “Assange”, even though that was not the name of the accused in that case. Legal analysts then claimed that the error was probably due to plaintiffs copying and pasting information from classified documents.

In the meantime, the British police have confirmed that Assange has been re-arrested at the request of the US authorities. The United States has submitted an extradition request.

In Great Britain, Assange has been charged with violating the terms of his bail for seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy. Assange may end up in prison for a year or be fined.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.