Thursday, April 11, 2019
WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Arrested At Ecuadorian Embassy In London; U.S. Seeks Extradition
The Washington Times offers a report on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange being evicted from the Ecuadorian Embassy.
LONDON (AP) — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was forcibly bundled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and into a waiting British police van on Thursday, setting up a potential court battle over attempts to extradite him to the U.S. to face charges related to the publication of tens of thousands of secret government documents.
British police arrested Assange after the South American nation decided to revoke the political asylum that had given Assange sanctuary for almost seven years. Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno said he took the action due to “repeated violations to international conventions and daily life.”
“The discourteous and aggressive behavior of Mr. Julian Assange, the hostile and threatening declarations of its allied organization, against Ecuador, and especially the transgression of international 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.
Assange took refuge in the embassy in 2012 after he was released on bail in Britain while facing extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations that have since been dropped.
But he has been under U.S. Justice Department scrutiny for years for WikiLeaks’ role in publishing thousands of government secrets. He was an important figure in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe as investigators examined how WikiLeaks obtained emails that were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Democratic groups.
Assange had not come out of the embassy for almost seven years because he feared arrest and extradition to the United States for publishing classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks. Although Sweden has dropped the sexual assault case that first led to Assange’s arrest in Britain, U.K. authorities said he would be rearrested if he ever left the embassy because he skipped bail in the original case.
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Posted by Paul Davis at 9:29 AM
Labels: Julian Assange evicted from Ecuadorian Embassy in London, leak of classified information to WikiLeaks, The Washington Times, WikiLeaks