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WikiLeaks founder Assange arrested in London

Julian Assange on May 19, 2017, in London. Ecuador granted citizenship to Assange as part of a failed attempt to transfer him to Russia as a diplomat. (Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Zuma Press/TNS)
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This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

London police said on April 11 that Assange had been taken into custody and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court “as soon as is possible.”

Officers arrested Assange after being “invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorean government’s withdrawal of asylum,” a statement said.

Assange has been holed up in London’s Ecuadoran Embassy since 2012, when he skipped bail to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual-assault and rape allegations.

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Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno said his country withdrew Assange’s asylum after he “repeatedly violated international conventions.”

WikiLeaks said that Ecuador terminated Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law.”

Swedish prosecutors dropped the case against Assange last year, but Assange was still subject to a British arrest warrant for violating the terms of bail in 2012.

Assange, a 47-year-old Australian, had refused to leave Ecuador’s Embassy, claiming if he did he would be extradited to the United States, where he could face trial over the leaking of some 500,000 secret U.S. military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Last year, prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia, inadvertently disclosed that Assange is facing unspecified, sealed criminal charges in the district.

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