METROPOLITAN POLICE officers have arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London this morning.
The news was confirmed in a Tweet by the force and comes the day after WikiLeaks said material including video, audio, copies of private legal documents and a medical report had turned up in Spain, where a group was said to have threatened to start publishing unless they were paid €3m (£2.6m).
Today’s arrest comes seven years after Assange sought asylum at the embassy following a British court ruling he should be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.
Sweden dropped the charges in 2017 but Assange remained at the embassy as he feared being extradited to the US to face charges over the WikiLeaks website’s release of sensitive government files.
In a statement the Met Police said: “Julian Assange, 47, has today, Thursday 11 April, been arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) at the Embassy of Ecuador, Hans Crescent, SW1 on a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 29 June 2012, for failing to surrender to the court.
“He has been taken into custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as is possible.
“The MPS had a duty to execute the warrant, on behalf of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and was invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) April 11, 2019
Ecuador decidió soberanamente retirar el asilo diplomático a Julian Assange por violar reiteradamente convenciones internacionales y protocolo de convivencia. #EcuadorSoberano pic.twitter.com/V02pvvtPY0
— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) April 11, 2019