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Met Police withdraws 24/7 guards for Julian Assange at Ecuadorian Embassy as part of "covert plan"

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A number of “overt and covert tactics” will be applied to arrest the Wikileaks founder

The Met Police has decided to remove “dedicated 24/7 guards” at Ecuadorian Embassy as part of a covert plan.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in June 2012, has been protected by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) since day one. 

However Met Police now wants to do everything it can to present Assange before court.

In December 2010, Assange was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) and his extradition ordered him to answer serious criminal allegations in Sweden. He is subject to arrest under Section 7 of the Bail Act, for failing to surrender to custody on 29 June 2012 for removal to Sweden.

Back in June it was revealed that Assange has cost the taxpayer over £11m in security for his three-year stay at Ecuador embassy.

In a statement, Met Police said: “Whilst the MPS remains committed to executing the arrest warrant and presenting Julian Assange before the court, it is only right that the policing operation to achieve this is continually reviewed against the diplomatic and legal efforts to resolve the situation.

“The operation to arrest Julian Assange does however continue and should he leave the Embassy the MPS will make every effort to arrest him. However it is no longer proportionate to commit officers to a permanent presence.

“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. 

“This decision has not been taken lightly, and the MPS has discussed it with the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 

“A significant amount of time has passed since Julian Assange entered the Embassy, and despite the efforts of many people there is no imminent prospect of a diplomatic or legal resolution to this issue.”

 

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