As reported by TheSun
JULIAN Assange was dramatically arrested by British cops today and dragged screaming from the Ecuadorian Embassy after seven years hiding inside.
The pale and bearded WikiLeaks founder, 47, was pulled out in handcuffs as Ecuador withdrew its asylum status – ending Assange’s 2,487 days holed up since 2012.
As he was hauled from the building – clutching Gore Vidal’s History of the National Security State – he appeared to shout “The UK has no civility” and “the UK must resist”.
Until today, Assange hadn’t left the embassy since August 2012 – costing the British taxpayer more than £10m.
He feared stepping off Ecuador’s diplomatic soil would see him arrested and extradited to the US for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
- Julian Assange has been arrested after 2,487 days holed up – costing British taxpayers more than £10m
- He went into hiding in August 2012 to avoid facing extradition to Sweden for sexual assault and rape allegations
- Sweden dropped the charges in 2017 but Swedish accuser today called for case to be re-opened
- Wanted in US for espionage and publication of sensitive government documents, and in UK for skipping bail in 2012
- He fears he could face death penalty if extradited to US over WikiLeaks scandal
- Ecuadorian President said Assange release dependent on not facing extradition to country with death penalty
- Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan said ‘UK courts will decide’ his future
- US State Department has not yet commented
Assange’s lawyers have previously argued that he could face the death penalty if he was extradited to the US.
Ecuadorian President Moreno said in December that Assange could be taken into British custody if the UK guaranteed he would not be extradited to a third country where he could face the death penalty.
And today he said Britain had confirmed it would not extradite Assange to a country that has the death penalty.
Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan today said he will face ‘justice in the proper way in the UK’ and it will be ‘for the courts’ to decide what happens next.
The US State Department has not commented on the arrest yet.
During his time in hiding Assange has been visited by numerous famous faces – most notably ex-Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, once rumoured to be his “lover”.
Today she retweeted an old photograph of him alongside the caption “truth will prevail” in Latin.
Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation – today one of his accusers demanded the case be reopened.
That probe was later dropped, but Assange fears he could be extradited to face charges in the US, where federal prosecutors are investigating WikiLeaks.
ASSANGE IN CUFFS
Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno said on Twitter: “In a sovereign decision Ecuador withdrew the asylum status to Julian Assange after his repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols.”
But WikiLeaks said he had acted illegally in terminating Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”, with the organisation accusing “powerful actors” of an effort to dehumanise it’s founder.