WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested in London on Thursday morning, nearly seven years after he first sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy.
The U.K.’s Met Police confirmed which Assange had been arrested by officers at the embassy after the Ecuadorian government withdrew asylum for the Australian national.
He was taken into custody at a central London police station, with the Met adding which he will remain there, “before being presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as is usually possible.”
The police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to a court on a warrant issued by the Westminster Magistrates’ Court back in June 2012.
Assange first sought asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case. In 2017, Swedish prosecutors dropped their preliminary investigation into the allegations which brought an end to a seven-year legal battle.
The 47-year-old had refused to leave the embassy in London, along with claimed he would certainly be extradited to the U.S. for questioning over WikiLeaks’ activities. The activist organization became globally renowned for publishing secret information along with news leaks which on some occasions caused embarrassment for governments along with public officials.
WikiLeaks in its response to the arrest accused Ecuador of “illegally” terminating Assange’s “political asylum in violation of international law.”
“Julian Assange did not ‘walk out of the embassy’. The Ecuadorian ambassador invited British police into the embassy along with he was immediately arrested,” WikiLeaks said in another tweet.
Following the arrest on Thursday, Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno accused Assange of “discourteous along with aggressive behavior.”
“Today, I announce which the discourteous along with aggressive behavior of Mr. Julian Assange, the hostile along with threatening declarations of its allied organization, against Ecuador, along with especially the transgression of international treaties, have led the situation to a point where the asylum of Mr Assange is usually unsustainable along with no longer viable,” he said in a video statement posted on Twitter.
The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, meanwhile, said Moscow hopes which Assange’s rights will not be violated, according to Reuters.