After years on the run, WikiLeaks Co-Founder Julian Assange has been captured and arrested by authorities in London.
Assange’s lawyers have just confirmed that the arrest concerns an alleged conspiracy with Chelsea Manning.
According to reports, Assange was taken into custody in the Ecuadorian Embassy where he had been hiding out over the last seven years. Assange has been dodging extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on charges of sexual assault.
A tweet from Home Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed that Assange had been arrested.
Nearly 7yrs after entering the Ecuadorean Embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation & @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) April 11, 2019
WikiLeaks responded to the reports that Ecuador had terminated the asylum sanctuary that Assange had been taking advantage of, calling it a “violation of international law”. The president of Ecuador said he withdrew the offer after numerous violations of international conventions. President Lenin Moreno said the country had “reached its limit on the behavior of Mr. Assange.”
Assange originally helped develop WikiLeaks as a way to publish and circulate confidential information, like top-secret documents and pictures. The site had been created in 2006, but flew relatively under the radar until it made national headlines in 2010 when WikiLeaks released graphic footage of US service members shooting and killing civilians from a helicopter.
The infamous Chelsea Manning also played her part in the WikiLeaks series of events, handing nearly 750,000 classified videos and documents to the site. Manning was hit with a laundry list of charges, including aiding the enemy and numerous violations of the Espionage Act.
Manning was found guilty and imprisoned from 2010 – 2017. Obama pardoned Manning before leaving office, despite her traitorous acts. She has since gone on to become a ‘social justice activist’. One of her recent posts on Twitter shows a photo of a burning Thin Blue Line flag on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Manning is now in jail again, after refusing to testify to a grand jury about issues concerning WikiLeaks.
Reminding folks that Chelsea Manning continues to sit in jail after refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating Julian Assange https://t.co/ELPR8HiHXN
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) April 11, 2019
The rape charge that Assange was wanted for in Sweden was dropped, but the website’s co-founder is still wanted for something – skipping bail.
This charge is enough that he could be extradited to the United States and could face charges for publishing classified US documents on the Internet.
According to the BBC, “Scotland Yard said it was invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.
After his arrest for failing to surrender to the court, police said he had been further arrested on behalf of US authorities under an extradition warrant.”
Assange is set to remain in custody at a London police department before appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court shortly.
Ecuador President Moreno said they were fed up with Assange.
“The most recent incident occurred in January 2019, when WikiLeaks leaked Vatican documents,” he said.
“This and other publications have confirmed the world’s suspicion that Mr. Assange is still linked to WikiLeaks and therefore involved in interfering in internal affairs of other states.”
The arrest comes just days after WikiLeaks announced it had uncovered a spy operation against Assange.
US Attorney for Assange, Barry Pollack statement on Assange arrest on behalf of the US in relation to 2010 publications: pic.twitter.com/a3hC6aLg7A
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 11, 2019
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the arrest was the result of “years of careful diplomacy”.
“We’re not making any judgment about Julian Assange’s innocence or guilt,” Hunt said. “That is for the courts to decide. But what is not acceptable is for someone to escape facing justice and he has tried to do that for a very long time.”