WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested by UK police at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The arrest comes after the Ecuadorian government withdrew his asylum. He had been in the building for almost seven years to avoid being extradited to Sweden.
London's Metropolitan Police vowed earlier this month to arrest Assange if he were freed. Assange, who has lived in the embassy for more than six years, faces possible extradition to the U.S. for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks.
Assange, 47, has been in the embassy since 2012 when British courts ordered him extradited to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual assault case. That matter has since been dropped, but Wikileaks is facing a federal grand jury investigation over its publication of American diplomatic and military secrets during the Iraq War.
Assange, an Australian native, was arrested on a Westminster Magistrates’ Court warrant which was issued on June 29, 2012, for failing to surrender to court, Metropolitan Police said in a statement. (Fox News)
"It is absolutely right that Assange will face justice in the proper way in the UK,” Europe minister Sir Alan Duncan said after the arrest. "It is for the courts to decide what happens next."
Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno said on Twitter the action was taken after Assange’s “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols.”
In a sovereign decision Ecuador withdrew the asylum status to Julian Assange after his repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols. #EcuadorSoberano pic.twitter.com/pZsDsYNI0B— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) April 11, 2019
Sir Alan said the move comes after "extensive dialogue between our two countries."
UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt thanked Ecuador for their "cooperation."
"Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law. He has hidden from the truth for years," Hunt tweeted. "Thank you Ecuador and President @Lenin Moreno for your cooperation with @foreignoffice to ensure Assange faces justice."
Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law. He has hidden from the truth for years. Thank you Ecuador and President @Lenin Moreno for your cooperation with @foreignoffice to ensure Assange faces justice— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) April 11, 2019
WikiLeaks's Twitter account has issued a series of tweets defending Assange and asking for donations.
"URGENT: Ecuador has illigally terminated Assange political asylum in violation of international law. He was arrested by the British police inside the Ecuadorian embassy minutes ago," one tweet said.
URGENT: Ecuador has illigally terminated Assange political asylum in violation of international law. He was arrested by the British police inside the Ecuadorian embassy minutes ago.https://t.co/6Ukjh2rMKD— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 11, 2019
Update: Video footage from the arrest:
Assange arrest video:— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 11, 2019
"The UK must resist this attempt by the Trump administration"https://t.co/fq1JGfw40u
Jennifer Robinson, Assange’s attorney, said the extradition request came from the U.S.
Assange “has been arrested not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to a US extradition request,” she tweeted.
This is a breaking news story.