Assange 'is no hero': British foreign minister

Assange 'is no hero': British foreign minister

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is seen outside Downing Street in London
Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo

LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange "is no hero", British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Thursday (Apr 11) following his arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

"What is not acceptable is for someone to escape facing justice and he had tried to do that for a very long time and that is why he is no hero," Hunt said in a statement.

"He has hidden from the truth for years and years and it is right that his future should be decided in the British judicial system," he added.

READ: Timeline of WikiLeaks founder's Ecuadoran stay

Assange had been living at Ecuador's embassy in London's plush Knightsbridge district since 2012 when he sought refuge there after being accused of sexual assault in Sweden.

The Metropolitan Police said it arrested Assange for breaching his bail conditions dating back to that period, and that he is also being held over an extradition request from the United States.

assange after being arrested
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen after was arrested by British police outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London, Britain Apr 11, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)

There he potentially faces a far more serious case linked to the publication of classified US defence material.

Hunt hailed his arrested as "the result of years of careful diplomacy" with Ecuador and praised the country's President Lenin Moreno as having made "a very courageous decision" to allow it.

READ: Australia 'confident' Assange will receive fair treatment in UK

He added Assange had been "holding the Ecuadorian Embassy hostage in a situation that was absolutely intolerable for them.

"This will now be decided properly, independently by the British legal system respected throughout the world for its independence and integrity and that is the right outcome," Hunt said.

Britain's foreign secretary said London was "not making any judgement about (his) innocence or guilt" and that was "for the courts to decide".

"What we've shown today is that no one is above the law," Hunt said.

Source: AFP/aa

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