Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested

Julian Assange pictured as he is led out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in handcuffs following his sensational arrest by British police today

Julian Assange is facing up to 12 months in a British prison after he was found guilty of skipping bail to avoid being extradited to Sweden in 2012 to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.

The Wikileaks founder was convicted in court today after he was sensationally expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been claiming political refuge for seven years.

Following Ecuador’s decision to revoke his diplomatic asylum, British police dragged him away in handcuffs following an extradition request by the US, where he is also wanted for leaking highly-classified documents.

Assange on the way to courtJulian Assange gestures to the media from a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates' Court today

Julian Assange gestures to the media from a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today

The Wikileaks founder was arrested by British police officers on behalf of the US to answer a charge of conspiring with American whistleblower Chelsea Manning ‘to break a password to a classified government computer’ in 2010.

According to court documents unsealed today, the charge relates to Assange’s alleged role in ‘one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the US’ and he faces a maximum jail term of five years.

Earlier today, Assange, sporting a scruffy beard and unkempt hair, was hauled out of the embassy by a group of seven men as his stunned supporters watched on as he screamed out ‘the UK must resist’.

It comes after Ecuador dramatically withdrew Assange’s asylum status after seven years, blaming the Australian’s ‘discourteous and aggressive behaviour’ in continuing to work with Wikileaks while housed at the embassy.

Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan (right) and Ecuadorian Ambassador Jaime Marchan (left) pose jubilantly at a press conference in Victoria Gardens, Westminster, after WikiLeaks founder Assange was arrested

Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Alan Duncan (right) and Ecuadorian Ambassador Jaime Marchan (left) pose jubilantly at a press conference in Victoria Gardens, Westminster, after WikiLeaks founder Assange was arrested

Assange, 47, has always feared extradition to the US, where his lawyers have claimed he could face the death penalty for the mass leaking of highly-classified documents through Wikileaks.

In a statement today, Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno accused Assange of violating the terms of his asylum by ‘interfering in internal affairs of other states’ as well as ‘blocking security cameras’ and ‘mistreating guards’.

The arrest came just 24 hours after Wikileaks accused Ecuador of an ‘extensive spying operation’, adding that it assumed intel had been handed over to the administration of US President Donald Trump.

The US Department of Justice said Julian Assange had been arrested over an alleged conspiracy with Chelsea Manning “to break a password to a classified US government computer”Indictment form for Julian Assange

 

Assange, who has overseen the publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through Wikileaks, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court a few hours after his was brought into custody by police.

Pamela Anderson tweets support for arrested Assange

American-Canadian actress Pamela Anderson has hit out at the UK after Julian Assange’s arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The 51-year-old, who was previously in a relationship with Assange said she was in shock at the arrest.

Taking to Twitter she commented on his appearance and said he looked ‘very bad’.

She said:  ‘How could you Equador ? (Because he exposed you). How could you UK? Of course – you are America’s bitch and you need a diversion from your idiotic Brexit b*******. ‘

She also called out the USA and described President Donald Trump as ‘toxic’.

She added:  ‘This toxic coward of a President He needs to rally his base? – You are selfish and cruel. You have taken the entire world backwards.

‘You are devils and liars and thieves. And you will ROTT And WE WILL RISE ✊.’

Ms Anderson then re-tweeted videos of Assange’s arrest before posting a photo of him with the caption ‘veritas valebit’, which is Latin for ‘truth will prevail’.

News of his arrest was praised by Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who said ‘no one was above the law’, while Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt added Assange was ‘no hero’ and claimed he had ‘hidden from the truth for years’.

In a statement, the Home Office said: ‘We can confirm that Julian Assange was arrested in relation to a provisional extradition request from the United States of America.

‘He is accused in the United States of America computer related offences.’

It was accidentally revealed in November that Assange had been secretly indicted by the US Justice Department, but the exact nature of the charges against the 47-year-old was not disclosed.

Assange has not left Ecuador’s diplomatic soil since 2012, when the country offered diplomatic protection from allegations of sexual assault in Sweden.

The case was eventually dropped as investigators were unable to formally notify Assange of the allegations, however Swedish prosecutors revealed today that the case could now be revisited following his arrest.

Moments after the arrest, during which Assange held on to a Gore Vidal book on the history of the national security state, Wikileaks said Ecuador had acted illegally and ‘in violation of international law’.

In a statement today, Ecuador’s president claimed to have asked Britain to guarantee that Assange would not be extradited to any country where he could face torture or the death penalty.

Mr Javid said: ‘Nearly seven years 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 & for its professionalism. No one is above the law.’

A police van sits outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police and taken into custody following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum

A police van sits outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police and taken into custody following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum

Shortly after his arrest, vocal supporter and former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson tweeted a black and white photo of Assange along with the caption 'Veritas Valebit', which is Latin for 'the truth will prevail'

Taking to Twitter she commented on his appearance and said he looked 'very bad'

Shortly after his arrest, vocal supporter and former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson tweeted a black and white photo of Assange along with the caption ‘Veritas Valebit’, which is Latin for ‘the truth will prevail’.

The 51-year-old, who claims she was previously in a relationship with Assange, said she was in shock at the arrest.

Taking to Twitter she commented on his appearance and said he looked ‘very bad’.

She said: ‘How could you Equador ? (Because he exposed you). How could you UK? Of course – you are America’s b***h and you need a diversion from your idiotic Brexit b*******. ‘

She also called out the USA and described President Donald Trump as ‘toxic’.

She added: ‘This toxic coward of a President He needs to rally his base? – You are selfish and cruel. You have taken the entire world backwards.

‘You are devils and liars and thieves. And you will ROTT And WE WILL RISE ✊.’

Meanwhile, US whistleblower Edward Snowden warned the arrest was a ‘dark moment for press freedom’.

Snowden tweeted: ‘Images of Ecuador’s ambassador inviting the UK’s secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of-like it or not-award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books.

‘Assange’s critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom.’

Snowden is currently living in exile Russia having fled the US after leaking a huge cache of declassified documents back in 2013.

The Former CIA agent has been a longstanding supporter of Assange’s cause having allegedly been helped by the Wikileaks founder in handing over the secret documents to journalists.

Assange’s arrest comes a day after Wikileaks accused the Ecuadorean Government of an ‘extensive spying operation’.

In a press conference on Wednesday, it was alleged that the Wikileaks founder’s meetings with lawyers and a doctor inside the Ecuador embassy in London over the past year had been secretly filmed.

The anti-secrecy organisation said it had been offered all the material from an unnamed person in Spain, if it paid €3million (£2.6million).

Wikileaks also told how it assumed the information had been handed over to the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Assange had refused to leave the embassy, claiming he would be extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of Wikileaks if he did so.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said following the arrest: ‘What we have shown today is that nobody is above the law – Julian Assange is no hero.

Original Article:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6911187/Wikileaks-founder-Julian-Assange-arrested-police.html

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