Julian Assange’s freedom came to an abrupt end early Thursday after seven years in hiding. The grey bearded Wikileaks founder was dragged out of the Ecuadorean Embassy in handcuffs after Ecuador lost patience with him for “repeated violations” of international conventions and daily life protocols.
The Ecuadorean Embassy sheltered Assange from prosecution for an alleged sexual assault in Sweden. Those charges have since been dropped. Assange has not left the embassy since 2012.
Wikileaks released a statement on Thursday, saying Assange yelled “The UK must resist this attempt by the Trump administration to extradite” him.
The 47-year-old, who looks 30 years older than his stated age, is wanted by the United States Justice Department for leaking highly-classified military documents to Wikileaks.
It isn’t clear if the U.S. government requested his extradition. In 2018, it was revealed that Assange had been secretly indicted by the U.S. Justice Department on unknown charges.
Assange and Wikileaks are widely believed to be responsible for hacking into Hillary Clinton’s private server. Thousands of emails were uploaded to Wikileaks from Clinton’s server and a separate unsecured server at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.
The embarrassing emails showed Clinton secretly enjoyed comfortable relationships with anchors and other journalists who worked for politically biased cable networks such as CNN and MSNBC.
Clinton supporters blamed Assange and the Russians for sabotaging Clinton’s presidential hopes in 2016. Clinton lost the election in spectacular fashion to real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Assange is currently in the custody of London’s Metropolitan Police. He made his first appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this morning.
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