Julian Assange has been arrested by London cops at the Ecuadorian Embassy after the nation revoked the asylum it had given him for nearly seven years.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) issued a statement this morning saying that officers had arrested him on a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates' Court on 29 June 2012, for failing to surrender to the court.
WikiLeaks immediately responded by issuing a statement saying that Ecuador had "illigally [sic] terminated Assange['s] political asylum in violation of international law".
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
The statement from the Met added of Assange:
"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 Met said.
"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."
Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for almost seven years, and his presence has been wearing increasingly thin on the nation's hospitality.
He was granted political asylum in 2012, and was allowed to stay in the building to avoid extradition to Sweden, which was investigating him over allegations of sexual assault.
Their houseguest felt that, if he were moved to Sweden, the CIA would bear down on him for releasing the 70,000-plus secret US diplomatic cables that were disclosed to WikiLeaks by US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
Manning had her sentence commuted by the then US prez Barack Obama in 2017, a move Assange claimed was aimed at making life "hard" for him. (Manning last month was jailed again – for contempt of court – after she refused to testify to a American grand jury probing WikiLeaks, specifically because she objects to the secrecy of the grand jury process.)
Since Assange first moved into the embassy in 2012, tempers have frayed, with officials eventually cutting off his internet access after he reneged on a promise not to say or tweet anything that would damage the South American country's relations with the UK.
The Aussie leaker was told he needed to agree to a set of rules usually imposed by weary mothers that included cleaning the bathroom and tidying up after his cat.
The WikiLeaker then tried to take the government of Ecuador to court for violating his human rights, as he grew increasingly tired of being cooped up in the broom cupboard.
Just yesterday his leaky org claimed blackmailers had threatened to reveal "sexual" things alongside other details of Assange's life inside the embassy; the group claimed that miscreants were trying to squeeze €3m out of it.
Towards the end of last year, Assange reportedly turned down a proposed deal with the UK, which would have assured he wasn't extradited to a country where he could face the death penalty.
But his refusal appears to have backfired now, giving the Ecuadorian embassy little choice other than to boot him out and let the Brit cops get their hands on him.
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
The pale-haired WikiLeaker's arrest by the UK police was for a breach of bail conditions. The Swedish investigation, though, can be reactivated, and the lawyer of the complainant in that case tweeted last week:
The statue of limitations for the rape allegation against Assange expire in August 2020. Until then we will continue to fight for Assange to be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape.— Elisabeth Massi Fritz (@ElisabethMFritz) April 5, 2019
* Various theories have it that he has an extra digit, and has been body-swapped with other famous pale and interesting types. We couldn't possibly comment...