MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, July 22nd 2019 - 22:39 UTC

 

 

Cash strapped London police lifts standing watch for Assange at Ecuadorian embassy

Tuesday, October 13th 2015 - 07:38 UTC
Full article 32 comments
However police said they would maintain a “covert plan” to arrest Assange, 44, who entered the embassy in June 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden However police said they would maintain a “covert plan” to arrest Assange, 44, who entered the embassy in June 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden
London's MPS has guarded the embassy round the clock for the last three years at an estimated cost of 12.6 million pounds ($19 million) London's MPS has guarded the embassy round the clock for the last three years at an estimated cost of 12.6 million pounds ($19 million)

London's cash-strapped police will no longer keep officers stationed outside the Ecuadorean embassy to catch WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up inside for over three years, the force said.

 Nevertheless the police said they would maintain a “covert plan” to arrest Assange, 44, who entered the embassy in June 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over a rape allegation, which he denies.

Assange says he fears Sweden will extradite him to the United States where he could be put on trial over WikiLeaks' publication of classified military and diplomatic documents five years ago, one of the largest information leaks in U.S. history.

If he leaves, he faces immediate arrest for breaching bail conditions. London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has guarded the embassy round the clock for the last three years at an estimated cost of 12.6 million pounds ($19 million).

“Like all public services, MPS resources are finite,” it said in a statement. “With so many different criminal, and other, threats to the city it protects, the current deployment of officers is no longer believed proportionate.”

The operation to arrest Australian-born Assange would however continue, it said.

“Whilst no tactics guarantee success in the event of Julian Assange leaving the embassy, the MPS will deploy a number of overt and covert tactics to arrest him,” it added without elaborating.

The decision was taken after discussions with the Home Office (interior ministry) and the Foreign Office, it said.

Britain has accused Ecuador of preventing the course of justice by allowing Assange to remain in its embassy in the up market central London area of Knightsbridge.

Britain's Foreign Office said the head of its diplomatic service had summoned the Ecuadorean ambassador on Monday to “register once again our deep frustration at the protracted delay”.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • MuppetPaster

    The prize for Muppet-of-the-Day goes to the owner of this naive comment:

    “I don't think a couple of bobbies round the clock is causing that much drain on man power.”

    Is the rightful owner going to come forward and collect the prize?
    Anyone?

    Oct 13th, 2015 - 08:14 am 0
  • DennisA

    It's a trap! He will think he can now get out and they will have him. Very sneaky ploy.

    Oct 13th, 2015 - 09:58 am 0
  • brasherboot

    Let Assange move to South America. This way the insidious moron will be away from the publicity he doesnt deserve.

    Oct 13th, 2015 - 10:56 am 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!