Updated | WikiLeaks founder in British police custody after Ecuador withdraws protection

Julian Assange took refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London seven years ago, to evade extradition to Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London

Updated at 1:50pm

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Scotland Yard has confirmed that Assange was arrested on behalf of the United States after receiving a request for his extradition.

Rafael Correa, who was Ecuadorian president when Assange was granted asylum, has strongly condemned his successor’s decision to withdraw protection for the Australian computer programmer.

"[Moreno] is the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history, allowing the British police to enter our embassy in London to arrest Assange," Correa said of the current Ecuadorian president. Correa referred to Moreno as a corrupt man whose withdrawing of protection for Assange is a "crime that humanity will never forget."

Sweden’s chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren said she was unaware as to why Assange was arrested.

Assange had sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy for seven years, after claiming that if he left the embassy, he would be extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks published confidential documents and images in 2006, and made international headlines in April 2010, after footage showing US soldiers shooting 18 Iraqi civilians from a helicopter surfaced on the internet.

Asange was detained later that year in the United Kingdom, following allegations of sexual assault by the Swedish government. The charges have since been dropped.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said that Assange’s asylum was withdrawn following repeated violations of international conventions. 

WikiLeaks tweeted in response to Moreno statements, stating that the withdrawal of Assange’s political asylum breaks international law. 

"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 & metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law,” United Kingdom Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted.

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