Wikileaks co-founder Julius Assange arrested

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 11, 2019 18:11 hrs

Julius Assange, co-founder of Wikileaks was arrested from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday morning bringing to a dramatic end his seven-year stint here.

Metropolitan Police officers made the arrest after Ecuador withdrew Assange's asylum and invited authorities into the embassy, citing the Australian's bad behavior, according to CNN.

Wikileaks on April 5 had indicated that its founder Assange is likely to be expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has taken asylum since 2012, in the wake of INA papers leak.

The INA papers are the cache of documents published in February 2019, allegedly uncovering the operations of INA Investment Corp., an offshore tax haven created by the brother of Ecuadorian President.

Assange has been arrested for failing to surrender to the court over a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates' Court in 2012, the New York Times reported quoting the London Police.

Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno in a video statement said his country withdrew Assange's asylum due to his "discourteous and aggressive behaviour," "the hostile and threatening declarations of his allied organisation against Ecuador" and "the transgression of international treaties."

Video footage showed a bearded Assange being taken down the steps of the red brick embassy in the wealthy area of Knightsbridge in central London by several plainclothes police officers and put into a gray police truck that was waiting to take him away.

Wikileaks had announced that Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno is being investigated for corruption charges after the leaks of the papers.

The leak of papers sparked a congressional investigation into the matter. However, the President cannot be summoned for a criminal probe while he remains president. He is currently being investigated and risks impeachment.

The whistleblower has repeatedly suggested he might be apprehended outside the embassy and extradited to the United States.

Over the past months, the Ecuadorian authorities have been putting various restrictions on the conditions of Assange's stay in the embassy, which the whistleblower's defense called the violation of human rights. (ANI)



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