The founder of government-leaks website ‘Wikileaks’ last night faced arrest by the Metropolitan Police after breaching the terms of his £200,000 bail.
Mr Assange, an Australian national, is wanted by Swedish authorities investigating allegations that he raped one woman and molested another whilst in Stockholm in 2010.
Mr Assange claims the charges are a fabrication designed to facilitate his eventual extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for publishing thousands of highly confidential military and political communications extracts on his Wikilea ks website.
Mr Assange had been granted bail by the High Court, under the terms that he remains at a previously stated address between the hours of 8am and 10pm. However, at 10.20pm last night the police confirmed that he had broken this agreement and would face arrest.
“(Mr Assange) is now subject to arrest under the Bail Act for breach of these conditions. Officers are aware of his location at the Ecuador Embassy in Hans Crescent, London,” said a Met Police spokeswoman.
Mr Assange’s attempts to avoid deportation to Sweden recently failed, and facing extradition he travelled to the Ecuadorian Embassy to request political asylum.
In a statement, Mr Assange confirmed these reports.
“I can confirm that today I arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy and sought diplomatic sanctuary and political asylum,” he said.
“My application has been passed to the ministry of foreign affairs in the capital Quito. I am grateful to the Ecuadorian ambassador and the Government of Ecuador for considering my application,” he added.
The Ecuadorian Embassy confirmed that Mr Assange would be offered protection whilst his application for asylum was considered.
“The decision to consider Mr Assange’s application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden,” the Ecuadorian Embassy said in an official statement.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange faces arrest for breaching bail (The Independent)
What is bail and how does it work? (FindLaw)
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