Julian Assange Arrested In London
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested, after police were invited into the Ecuadorian embassy where he has sought asylum since 2012.
UPDATE: Julian Assange has been arrested in relation to an extradition warrant on behalf of the United States.
London Police made the announcement on Thursday night (AEST) that they had taken him into custody -- but Wikileaks claimed that Ecuador had "illegally terminated" political asylum of Australian-born Assange by inviting police into the embassy to arrest him.
Police said they had been "invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum", and that Assange had been arrested "for failing to surrender to the court".
Ecuador's president, Lenin Moreno, said the asylum offer had been withdrawn due to Assange's "discourteous and aggressive behaviour".
Footage from the scene showed a bearded, ponytailed Assange being carried from the embassy by up to seven police, and placed into a waiting van. He appeared to be carrying a copy of Gore Vidal's book 'History of the National Security State' as he was taken away.
Assange had claimed asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, as he faced questioning related to alleged assaults in Sweden. That investigation has since been dropped, but British police had indicated their plans to charge Assange for failing to meet bail conditions.
He is also wanted in the United States for exposing classified government information on his Wikileaks website, and had resisted the Swedish warrants because he claims it could lead to his extradition to the US.
The United Nations has repeatedly deemed his time in the embassy as effectively arbitrary detention, owing to the risk of being arrested if he left -- as pointed out by fellow whistleblower Edward Snowden on Thursday.
Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno confirmed his decision to revoke Assange's asylum status in a video posted to Twitter.
Moreno claimed Assange had been responsible for "repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols", including allegations he had been "intervening in internal affairs" of foreign countries by continuing to work with Wikileaks.
Wikileaks maintains Assange stood down as editor of WikiLeaks in September 2018, but remains the site's publisher.
Moreno also listed other claims including that Assange had installed surveillance equipment in the embassy, and been rude to staff.
"Julian Assange, 47, (03.07.71) has today, Thursday 11 April, been arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) at the Embassy of Ecuador, Hans Crescent, SW1 on a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates' Court on 29 June 2012, for failing to surrender to the court," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.
"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 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."
Australia's Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union representing journalists, has called on the federal government to intervene to assist Assange.
Late Thursday night (AEST), police said Assange was "further arrested" in relation to an extradition warrant on behalf of the United States.
His lawyer Jen Robinson confirmed the same.
Foreign Affairs minister Marise Payne said Assange would "continue to receive the usual consular support" from the Australian government, and that she is "confident" the Australian will receive due process.