Politics

Julian Assange Has Been Arrested

British policed entered the Ecuadorian embassy and forcefully arrested Assange tonight.

Julian Assange arrest

Since 2012, Queensland-born hacker and activist Julian Assange has spent his days in the Ecuadorian embassy.

While there, the Wikileaks founder and arch enemy of Hillary Clinton has been something of an unwanted houseguest. Although he’s had Ecuadorian citizenship since 2017, he’s made rather of a pain of himself, getting in trouble for not properly looking after his cat, not paying for the internet, and trying to meddle with the American election.

But now, Assange’s days of lounging on the Ecuadorian dime are over — he has been expelled from the embassy, and has been formally arrested by the British police.

Assange’s criminal history is a complicated one. Despite being the man behind one of the most famous (or should that be infamous?) online activist groups in the world, one of the key charges laid against him was “lesser-degree” rape.

According to two accusers in Sweden, Assange unlawfully coerced the women into sexual relations. This was the crime which caused Assange to flee to the embassy, for fear that the Swedish authorities would turn him over to the Americans, where separate charges have been laid against him concerning Wikileaks’ spread of classified government documents.

The “lesser-degree” rape charges against Assange have now, however, been formally dropped. The key charges against him concern Wikileaks — indeed, in December of last year, American prosecutors accidentally revealed that they were filing separate, secret charges against him. The increased heat presumably comes from Assange’s role in the Russian disruption of the American election: Wikileaks was responsible for a bevy of released documents that revealed the corruption in the Democratic National Convention.

The whole thing is a total mess, basically — legally and ethically — and this newest development doesn’t make anything clearer. Whether the British police are going to hand over the Wikileaks founder to the Americans, where new court proceedings will follow, remains to be seen.

In a tweet shortly after Assange’s arrest, WikiLeaks said Assange had been forcefully arrested.

He’s now in the custody of Metropolitan police. It’s not clear what will happen to him from here.

More to come.