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Assange Appears In London Court After Arrest, U.S. Announces Charges


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen in a police van after his arrest by British police in London on April 11

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, where he had been holed up since 2012.

Authorities said the 47-year-old Australian was arrested on April 11 for failing to surrender to the court and following a U.S. extradition request.

The judge pronounced Assange guilty of the bail charge and remanded him in custody to face sentencing at an unspecified later date.

The charge carries a sentence of up to a year in prison. Assange also faces a separate hearing on the U.S. extradition request on May 2.

Assange appeared later in the day at a London court, where he pleaded innocent to the charge of failing to surrender to a Swedish arrest warrant and skipping bail.

The U.S. Justice Department announced shortly after Assange's arrest that he had been charged with conspiracy in trying to access a classified U.S. government computer with former U.S. intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010.

Manning was arrested in 2010 for disclosing hundreds of thousands of confidential documents, videos, and diplomatic cables to Assange's anti-secrecy website Wikileaks.

The Justice Department said that Assange faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, if convicted.

Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno said his country withdrew Assange's asylum after he "repeatedly violated international conventions."

Ecuadoran President: Asylum For 'Discourteous and Aggressive' Assange 'No Longer Viable'
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WikiLeaks said that Ecuador terminated Assange's political asylum "in violation of international law."

Foreign Minister Jose Valencia later announced that Assange's Ecuadoran citizenship was suspended.

Assange took refuge in London's Ecuadoran Embassy in 2012, when he skipped bail to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual-assault and rape allegations.

The case was dropped last year, but he was still subject to a British arrest warrant for violating the terms of bail in 2012.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and the BBC
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