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19 April 2024

WikiLeaks editor says Assange in a London prison

Photo: AP


WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson has told The Associated Press that Julian Assange is confined to a cell at Belmarsh Prison, a grim facility in southeast London.
He said conditions at the sprawling prison offer some advantages, however over the embassy where Assange lived for nearly seven years without taking a step outside. Assange was arrested Thursday.
And the WikiLeaks founder should finally be able to receive badly needed medical care for a shoulder problem and tooth pain now that he is out of the Ecuadorian embassy and in prison, Hrafnsson added.

Photo: AFP
“There are medical facilities there, access to dental care I would assume and a garden to go out into,” he said.
He added that it is now much easier for Assange to meet with his legal team in prison than it was at the embassy, where a feud with Ecuadorian authorities had led to a ban of most guests.
He said Assange is in relatively good mental condition considering the stress of recent days.
The 47-year-old hacker faces sentencing for jumping bail in Britain and possible extradition to the United States.

WikiLeaks' Assange arrested in London on US extradition request

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's seven-year hideout in Ecuador's London embassy dramatically ended when British police dragged him out and arrested him on a US extradition request.

Footage from the Russian video news agency Ruptly showed Assange - his worn face framed by a bushy white beard and shock of silver hair - being hustled out of the building by burly men in suits and pulled into a waiting police van Thursday.

The scene unfolded outside the plush central London building that has been Assange's refuge from the authorities since 2012.

"No one is above the law," British Prime Minister Theresa May said to cheers in parliament.

The drama came after Ecuador - under pro-US President Lenin Moreno, increasingly frustrated with Assange's stay - pulled its asylum and cancelled his citizenship after earlier curbing his internet and mobile phone access.

British police said Assange had been initially arrested for breaching his bail conditions in 2012 and then "further arrested on behalf of the United States", where he is wanted to face hacking charges.

His London lawyer Jennifer Robinson said Assange would be "contesting and fighting" his extradition.

Robinson said Assange had also told her to pass a message to his supporters that his repeated warnings about the risk of US extradition had been proved right.

"He said: 'I told you so'," Robinson told reporters and supporters, including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, outside Westminster Magistrates Court.