He is sure to be convicted here concerning his release of classified information.
I love this line, from the government that assassinates opponents at home and abroad: “The Kremlin said it hoped his rights would not be violated.”
Excerpts from the Article:
British police dragged Julian Assange out of Ecuadorean embassy in London on Thursday after Ecuador abruptly revoked his seven-year asylum, paving the way for his extradition to the United States for involvement in one of the biggest ever leaks of classified information.
The frail-looking WikiLeaks founder, with white hair and a long beard, was carried head first out of the Ecuadorean embassy shortly after 0900 GMT by at least seven men to a waiting police van, after shouting “This is unlawful, I’m not leaving.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May greeted the news in parliament. “The whole House will welcome the news this morning that the Metropolitan Police have arrested Julian Assange, arrested for breach of bail after nearly seven years in the Ecuadorean embassy,” May said to cheers and cries of “Hear, hear!” from lawmakers.
Appearing before a London court, Assange said he was not guilty of failing to surrender to court in 2012, but his lawyer said Assange would not give evidence. Minutes later the judge convicted him of skipping bail. He will be sentenced at a later date.
Police said they had arrested Assange, 47, after being invited into the embassy following the Ecuadorean government’s withdrawal of asylum. Assange was carried out of the building carrying a copy of Gore Vidal’s “History of The National Security State”.
Just hours later, U.S. prosecutors said they had charged Assange with conspiracy in trying to access a classified U.S. government computer with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010.
The arrests, after nearly seven years holed up in a few cramped rooms at the embassy, mark one of the most peculiar turns in a tumultuous life that has transformed the Australian programmer into a rebel wanted by the United States.
Supporters of Assange, who gave a thumbs up in handcuffs as he was taken from a police station to the court, said Ecuador had betrayed him at the behest of Washington, that the ending of his asylum was illegal and that it marked a dark moment for press freedom.
To some, Assange is a hero for exposing what supporters cast as abuse of power by modern states and for championing free speech. But to others, he is a dangerous rebel who has undermined U.S. security.
WikiLeaks angered Washington by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that laid bare often highly critical U.S. appraisals of world leaders, from Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of the Saudi royal family.
Assange made international headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff.
It was not immediately clear what specifically prompted Ecuador to end Assange’s stay in the embassy, or the extent of the diplomacy that led to the arrest. The Kremlin said it hoped his rights would not be violated.
Assange’s indictment arose from a long-running criminal investigation dating back to the administration of former President Barack Obama.
He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted, the department said.
Britain said no man was above the law. “Julian Assange is no hero, he has hidden from the truth for years and years,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said. “It’s not so much Julian Assange being held hostage in the Ecuadorean embassy, it’s actually Julian Assange holding the Ecuadorean embassy hostage in a situation that was absolutely intolerable for them.”
WikiLeaks said Ecuador had illegally terminated his political asylum in violation of international law. “Assange’s critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom,” said Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who fled to Moscow after revealing massive U.S. intelligence gathering.
“The British government has confirmed it in writing,” Moreno said. “The asylum of Mr Assange is unsustainable and no longer viable.”