London police say they are ready to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for breaching his bail conditions and spending the night in the Ecuador embassy while seeking political asylum in that country.
Assange was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Service’s Extradition Unit on December 7, 2010 on a warrant issued by Sweden. He is wanted in that country on allegations of rape and sexual molestation. The same day he appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
Julian Assange denies all allegations and says extradition to Sweden could in reality mean jail in the United States. The whistleblower is wanted in the US for exposing as many as 250,000 State Department secret cables.
Later the whistleblower was granted bail by the UK High Court. One of the conditions was that he should remain at his bail address at night, between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am. UK police say this condition has now been breached as Assange stayed in the Ecuador embassy Tuesday night and thus is now subject to arrest under the Bail Act.
Julian Assange remains at the Ecuador Embassy in London’s Hans Crescent, with Scotland Yard aware of his whereabouts.
As long as Assange stays in the embassy of the small South American country, he is beyond the reach of police. Once he steps outside he can immediately be arrested by the officers stationed outside the Edwardian apartment block that houses the embassy.
Australian citizen Assange, 40, hopes that Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa will grant him political asylum after previous messages of support.
Ecuador is believed to be considering his request while holding close consultations with the British authorities.