Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks was arrested by British police on Thursday after Ecuador rescinded the asylum that protected him from arrest for the last seven years. Assange, who was arrested in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, will now face extradition to the United States where he is expected to face multiple charges in connection with the largest leak of classified information in history.
Assange’s hair was completely white and a long bear covered the majority of his face when he was carried by a group of officers from the embassy. He looked a bit frail and confused. He gave little resistance but could be heard shouting his arrest was illegal. Hours after his arrest, officials in the United States explain he has so far been charged with one conspiracy charge pertaining to computer intrusion.
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, delivered the news of Assange’s arrest to parliament and was greeted with cheers.
United States President Donald Trump told reporters in Washington he had no thoughts either way on the arrest of Julian Assange. In 2016, the president caused a stir when he commented that he loved Assange for leaking the infamous Clinton emails. But on Thursday, the president said he knows nothing about Wikileaks. He said the issue was ‘not his thing.’
Assange appeared in court later on Thursday. He was cuffed but was able to give the thumbs up sign to onlookers. He pleaded not guilty to failing to surrender seven years ago.
Judge Michael Snow was stern with the WikiLeaks founder and at one point in the proceedings called him a narcissist. Judge Snow found him guilty of skipping out on the bail he was given in 2012 and will impose a sentence at a later date.
British police officials explain they were able to execute the arrest of the 47-year-old Assange after Ecuador invited them into its embassy. Assange had been in the embassy since being charged with a sexual assault in 2012. The sexual assault charges against Assange were later dismissed.
The Justice Department explains the charge in America against Assange involve conspiring with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst for the Army, to illegally access a government computer. The sealed indictment was drafted in March of 2018 and unsealed Thursday. The conspiracy charge carries with it a maximum prison sentence of five years. However, more charges are expected to be filed against Assange after his extradition.