Ecuadorian minister claims Julian Assange 'smeared poo over embassy walls'

Craig Murray

It is also possible that Assange, 47, will face an extradition request from Sweden if prosecutors there decide to pursue allegations of rape and sexual misconduct against him.

Police bundle WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, centre right, from the Ecuadorian embassy into a police van in London after he was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police and taken into custody Thursday April 11, 2019.

He spent nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he sought political asylum in 2012 when he failed in his legal battle against extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted over two separate allegations - one of rape and one of molestation.

The cost to taxpayers of policing Assange's stay in the Ecuadorean embassy and his failed attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning on sexual assault allegations - which went all the way to the Supreme Court - is thought to have passed £15 million.

Swedish prosecutors dropped the case against Assange in 2017, saying at the time there was no prospect of bringing him to Sweden because of his protected status inside the embassy.

"A kneejerk response that presumes that hacking is acceptable if the perpetrators can claim that their motives were journalistic is particularly risky when it emanates from those aspiring to become prime minister or home secretary, such as Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott".

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Extradition lawyer Ben Keith said the court will not assess the evidence against Assange to determine his guilt or innocence but will scrutinize whether the offence he is accused of in the us would be a crime in Britain.

Branco also noted that Assange has a young child in France.

He was retweeted by Pamela Anderson - one of Assange's most famous supporters - who has previously described Mr Corbyn as "clearly a decent and fair man".

Extradition lawyer Ben Keith said the court will not assess the evidence against Assange in an effort to determine his guilt or innocence, but will scrutinise whether the offence he is accused of in the USA would be a crime in Britain.

"After media reports that Julian Assange has been arrested in London, the counsel for the injured party has requested the Swedish preliminary investigation concerning rape be resumed", the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement. But Ecuador abruptly withdrew its asylum and invited the police to arrest Assange on Thursday.

A law change following the case of accused cyber-hacker Gary McKinnon, who has Asperger's, shifted responsibility away from ministers to the courts after then-home secretary Theresa May intervened to stop his extradition to the United States in 2012.

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Smith-Schuster quickly reacted, tweeting "keep your emotions off the internet " in reference to an earlier post by Brown. He added that he'd always shown Brown "love and respect" and accused the perennial Pro Bowler of having a big ego.

Mr Marchan said: "He has said that we were spying on him, he has said we were lying, we were agents of the United States".

She said she was "disgusted" the American allegation had been "allowed to eclipse" the sex offence case.

Assange has always denied the allegations, which he feared would lead to him being extradited to the United States and facing trial over the leak of hundreds of thousands of secret USA military and diplomatic documents in 2010, which brought WikiLeaks to prominence.

Assange's next court appearance was set for May 2 via prison video-link in relation to the extradition case, a process that involves several layers of appeal that could take several years.

Julian Assange's unceremonious removal from the Ecuadorian embassy in London makes headlines on Friday, along with Brexit and the Duchess of Sussex.

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