12/10/2015

Met Police End Presence Outside Wikileaks Founder's Refuge

A police presence outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has claimed asylum, is to be withdrawn, the Met Police have announced.

Officers have been stationed outside the building since Mr Assange sought asylum to avoid being extradited to Sweden over a rape allegation in June 2012.

The Wikileaks founder is said to fear his extradition to Sweden could then be used to send him to the US to be put on trial for releasing secret US documents.

It is understood the cost of the police presence is estimated to have cost more than £12m.

As a result of "finite resources" and a discussion with the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the force has now withdrawn the physical presence of officers outside the Embassy.

However, it added the operation to arrest Julian Assange will continue and should he leave the Embassy, the MPS will make "every effort to arrest him."

(LM/JP)

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