Julian Assange Arrested in London
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested in London. CNN Breaking:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested Tuesday in London on a Swedish warrant, London’s Metropolitan Police said.
Assange was arrested at a London police station at 9:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m. ET) and will appear at the City of Westminster Magistrate’s Court later in the day, police said.
Swedish authorities had issued the warrant for Assange so they can talk to him about sex-crime allegations unrelated to WikiLeaks’ recent disclosure of secret U.S. documents.
Assange’s British lawyer, Mark Stephens, said his client would fight extradition to Sweden, according to Britain’s Press Association. Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, has said he has long feared retribution for his website’s disclosures and has called the rape allegations against him a smear campaign.
Sweden first issued the arrest warrant for Assange in November, saying he is suspected of one count of rape, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of unlawful coercion — or illegal use of force — allegedly committed in August. Last week, at the request of Sweden’s Stockholm Criminal Court, Interpol issued a “red notice” placing Assange on a list of wanted suspects. British police then asked Swedish authorities for additional details not specified in the initial arrest warrant, a possible indication that the location of the elusive Assange is known. CNN has not confirmed that Assange is in the United Kingdom. Swedish prosecutors said Monday that they had sent additional information the British requested and that the case was being handled in accordance with European laws.
It should be emphasized that the arrest is, at least ostensibly, on sex crimes rather than anything to do with the mass publication of stolen classified documents.