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Assange arrested in UK, U.S. seeks extradition

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 11, 2019 - Duration: 02:13s

Assange arrested in UK, U.S. seeks extradition

Julian Assange's arrest in Ecuador's London embassy on Thursday was done by British police under a warrant for extradition by the United States.

Federal authorities have charged him with computer hacking conspiracy over his relationship with Chelsea Manning.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

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Assange arrested in UK, U.S. seeks extradition

Julian Assange's arrest in London on Thursday (April 11), inside Ecuador's embassy, was done by British police under a warrant from the United States for extradition.

This is the charge that he faces, unsealed by the U.S. Department of Justice the same day: conspiracy.

Specifically, related to hacking a government computer and his relationship to Chelsea Manning, the former army intelligence analyst whose massive dumps of diplomatic cables and battlefield reports in 2010 put WikiLeaks into the headlines.

And, fueled major embarrassments for the American government such as a video that showed an army helicopter killing a dozen civilians in Iraq, including two Reuters journalists.

Assange is said to have shouted during his arrest that his detention was unlawful.

The States has until June 12 to produce a case in order for the UK to consider transferring him.

If convicted he could face up to 5 years in prison.

Meanwhile, Britain also has their own legal claim to him.

Within hours of the arrest, he was rapidly convicted in a British court of skipping bail in 2012 over a separate extradition request by Sweden, in a sexual assault investigation.

Sweden had later dropped that case but the UK could still give him up to another year in prison over the incident.

Julian Assange had been holed up in Ecuador's embassy for seven years.

But Ecuador revoked his asylum request on Thursday, which allowed his arrest.

His relationship with his protectors at the embassy has soured in recent months, and Ecuador accused him of leaking material about their President Moreno's private life.

On Wednesday (April 10) -- the day before his arrest -- WikiLeaks also claimed that the Ecuador authorities were spying on him and that an unidentified group in Spain was trying to extort money from Assange after they obtained his medical records and other private documents.

It's not immediately clear if the two incidents are related to his arrest.

Julian Assange's critics say his actions were a risk to national security.

Proponents say he is a champion of free speech and government transparency.

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