Julian Assange ‘accessed Ecuador’s security files’ from inside embassy, President says

Lenín Moreno said Assange installed electronic equipment, blocked security cameras, was rude to security guards, and accessed files in the embassy without permission. Ecuador’s patience has “reach its limit”, he said, in a lengthy statement issued after President Moreno invited UK police into the London embassy to arrest Assange. Assange was dragged out of the Kensington embassy this morning, after spending seven years holed up inside having sought asylum.

Police said they had been invited into the embassy by the Ecuadorian Ambassador after the country withdrew his asylum.

He has been taken to custody in central London police station, having been arrested for failing to surrender to Westminster Magistrates’ Court in June 2012.

Mr Moreno said: “Two days ago Wikileaks, Mr Assange’s allied organisation, threatened the government of Ecuador. “My government has nothing to fear and does not act under threats. “Ecuador is guided by the principles of law, complies with international law and protects the interests of Ecuadorians.”

He added: “He particularly violated the norm of not intervening in the international affairs of other states. “The most recent incident occurred in January 2019 when wikiLeaks leaked Vatican documents. “Key members of that organisation visited Mr Assange before and after such illegal acts.

Today, I announce that the discourteous and aggressive behaviour of Mr Julian Assange… have led the situation to a point where the asylum of Mr Assange is unsustainable and no longer viable

Lenín Moreno, President of Ecuador

“This and other publications have confirmed the world’s suspicion that Mr Assange is still linked to Wikileaks and therefore involved in interfering in internal affairs of other states. “The patience of Ecuador has reached its limit to the behaviour of Mr Assange.

“He installed electronic and distortion equipment not allowed. He blocked the security cameras of the Ecuadorian Mission in London. He has confronted and mistreated guards. He had accessed security files of our Embassy without permission.

“He claimed to be isolated and rejected the internet connection offered by the embassy and yet he had a mobile phone with which he communicated with the outside world.

“While Ecuador upheld the generous conditions of his asylum, Mr Assange legally challenged in three difference instances the legality of the protocol.”

Mr Moreno attacked Assange for his “discourteous and aggressive behaviour”.

He added: “Ecuador is a generous country and a nation with open arms. Ours is a government respectful of the principles of international law, and of the institution of the right of asylum.

“Getting or withdrawing asylum is a sovereign right of the Ecuadorian state, according to international law.

“Today, I announce that the discourteous and aggressive behaviour of Mr Julian Assange, the hostile and threatening declarations of its allied organisation, against Ecuador, and especially the transgression of international treaties, have led the situation to a point where the asylum of Mr Assange is unsustainable and no longer viable.”

Assange shouted and gesticulated as he was carried out in handcuffs by seven men and put into a police van.

He shouted “The UK must resist” as he was bundled into the van, carrying a book and sporting a long beard.

The Metropolitan Police said: “He has been taken into custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as is possible.

“The MPS had a duty to execute the warrant, on behalf of Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and was invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Julian Assange is no hero and no one is above the law. He has hidden from the truth for years.

“Thank you Ecuador and President Lenin Moreno for your cooperation with the Foreign Office to ensure Assange faces justice.”

His arrest comes a day after Wikileaks accused the Ecuadorean Government of an “extensive spying operation” against Assange.

WikiLeaks, a whistle-blowing website, claimed meetings with lawyers and a doctor inside the embassy over the past year were secretly filmed.

Supporters of Assange also reported increased police activity at the embassy in recent days.

Two armed officers went into the building on Saturday and people taking part in a vigil said teams of plain clothes officers were outside the embassy throughout the weekend.

A number of surveillance cameras were also positioned opposite the embassy.

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