Saturday 1 October 2016

Man scales wall at embassy where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been living for last four years

Published 22/08/2016 | 16:13

Julian Assange speaking from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London
Julian Assange speaking from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London

A man has scaled a wall at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been living for over four years.

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The incident happened at around 2.47am on Monday at the side of the building, which includes a window.

Sources said the man fled after being caught by the embassy's security.

Scotland Yard called off its multimillion-pound 24-hour surveillance of the embassy last October, saying the operation was "no longer proportionate".

Metropolitan police officers had maintained a constant watch of the embassy in Knightsbridge, at a cost of over £11 million.

It is understood that the wall is being checked for fingerprints.

Mr Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over a sex allegation, which he has always denied.

He points out that the UK government has refused to guarantee that he will not be extradited to the United States to be quizzed over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the embassy.

Mr Assange, who has been granted political asylum by Ecuador, has offered to be questioned inside the embassy but the Swedish prosecutors only recently agreed.

The Ecuadorian attorney general said earlier this month that a date would be set in the coming weeks for the proceedings to be held.

It is understood that the intruder was confronted at a window by embassy security staff.

An embassy spokesman said: "The incident is under investigation."

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