London police on Thursday arrested Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on behalf of USA authorities after Ecuador announced that it would be withdrawing his asylum. The near one-minute clip showed an agitated, frail-looking man with white hair and a white beard escorted by the police.
He is facing up to 12 months in a British jail after being found guilty today at Westminster Magistrates Court of skipping bail in 2012 to seek refuge at the embassy over rape allegations which led to Sweden requesting his arrest.
But WikiLeaks says the thing Assange fears is being extradited to the U.S. to face charges over leaking of classified material, including footage of indiscriminate killing of civilians by USA troops who were occupying Iraq.
"Because they want... to break the weakest link in the chain, which is Julian Assange himself", the former president said.
His lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said in tweet that he had been arrested for breaching his bail conditions and in relation to a US extradition request.
The Wikileaks Twitter account posted: "Ecuador has illigally [sic] terminated Assange political asylum in violation of worldwide law".
In 2012, Assange claimed that if he was extradited to Sweden he might be arrested by the United States and face charges relating to WikiLeaks's publication of hundreds of thousands of USA diplomatic cables.
He had been living in the embassy, fearing arrest, but the Ecuadoran government says that Assange "repeatedly violated" the conditions of his protection. Media reports said the British government agreed with Ecuador not to extradite Mr Assange to countries with death penalty after revocation of his asylum.
The Metropolitan Police said he had been taken into custody and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court "as soon as is possible".
Moreno specifically cited WikiLeaks' release of a batch of Vatican documents earlier this year, before listing a number of activities at the embassy in London that he did not agree with.
Assange's attorneys fear that in case of his handover to the U.S., he may face up to 35 years in jail or capital punishment.
Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno said his country withdrew Assange's asylum after he "repeatedly violated worldwide conventions".
WikiLeaks claims Assange did not leave the embassy but that British police were invited inside and he was arrested.
However, the US Department of Justice claims that the Australian faces just five years behind bars on hacking charges.