Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has been hiding for the last seven years.
Assange, 47, took refuge within the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault since June 2012. Ecuador argued his human rights might be violated if he is extradited and granted him asylum in August that year.
The Swedish sexual assault case was dropped by Swedish authorities in May 2017, but Assange remained within the embassy to avoid facing prosecution for skipping bail, where the maximum penalty is 12 months behind bars.
However, this week Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno withdrew Assange’s asylum after his repeated violations to international conventions, and officers were invited into the embassy on Thursday morning to arrest the him.
In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “[Assange] 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.
Following the arrest, Home Secretary Sajid Javid commented: “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 and the Metropolitan Police for its professionalism. No one is above the law.”
Wikileaks tweeted that Ecuador’s withdrawal of Assange’s asylum was “in violation of international law”.