Wikileaks Co-founder Julian Assange Arrested in London, Dragged Out of Ecuadorian Embassy
Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
While being dragged out of the embassy by British plainclothes police officers, the white-haired computer programmer could be seen with a book in his hand — it was Gore Vidal’s History of The National Security State.
Assange had taken refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.
At Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday he was found guilty of failing to surrender to the court.
He now faces US federal conspiracy charges related to one of the largest ever leaks of government secrets.
The UK will decide whether to extradite Assange, in response to allegations by the Department for Justice that he conspired with former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to download classified databases.
He faces up to five years in US prison if convicted on the charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.
Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson said they would be fighting the extradition request. She said it set a “dangerous precedent” where any journalist could face US charges for “publishing truthful information about the United States.” She said she had visited Assange in the police cells where he thanked supporters and said: “I told you so.”
Assange had predicted that he would face extradition to the US if he left the embassy.