WikiLeaks' Founder Julian Assange Arrested in London After Seven Years - Would He Face Extradition in the U.S.?

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source: Wikimedia Commons

The controversial founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange got arrested in London Thursday afternoon nearly seven years after he was granted a refuge status in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

The British Metropolitan Police wanted the 47-year-old Assange for skipping a bail while he was under investigation for sexual assault and rape in Stockholm. After spending some time in Wandsworth Prison, Australia-born  Assange fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he has remained ever since.

Although Sweden dropped the case in May 2017,  Sweden's Prosecution Authority could re-open the sexual assault case, the prosecutor Ingrid Isgren confirmed Thursday.

The UK Prime Minister Theresa May briefly commented on the case Thursday highlighting that no one was above the law. May also added that the police arrested Assange concerning an extradition request from Washington.

The battle between Assange and the USA dates back to 2010 when WikiLeaks published numerous files stolen by the ex-US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Three years later, US prosecutors reportedly found proof that WikiLeaks assisted Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst to disclose a massive cache of classified documents.

In addition to that, WikiLeaks was one of the main points of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on any links between Trump's team and Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 elections. 

Washington is expected to bring additional charges against Assange, according to sources familiar with the matter. The decade-long FBI investigation against him revealed that he could have been a more active participant in the conspiracy to hack computers and break the US laws.

The London Metropolitan Police got a green light to arrest Assange today as the recently-elected Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno withdrew Assange's asylum request. Their relationship worsened significantly in March 2017 when the Embassy limited the Internet access of Assange.

More recently, the Ecuadorian Embassy reportedly had reasons to believe that Assange blacked-out security cameras, mistreated guards, and illegally accessed classified information without authorization. Furthermore, according to Ecuador’s Interior Minister María Paula Romo, he was trying to meddle in Ecuador's internal affairs in an attempt to destabilize the government.

The UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt congratulated the Ecuadorian President for the ''very courageous decision'' to sort out the situation that has been on the table for seven years. Hunt also pointed out that law applied to everyone and Julian Assange was not ''a hero''.

What do you think? Would Assange face extradition in the USA?