Skip to main content

WikiLeaks' Assange arrested by UK police

Julian Assange, the founder of whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks, has been arrested by UK police.

London's Metropolitan Police announced at around 10:30 GMT that the 39-year-old had been taken into custody at a London police station, following receipt of an arrest warrant issued by Swedish authorities on charges of rape and sexual molestation.

Assange is expected to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court before 12.30 today.

British police are believed to have known Assange's whereabouts ever since he arrived in the UK in October.

Sky News first reported that the Australian had been arrested at 9:30 GMT. A few minutes later, Assange's London-based lawyer, Mark Stephens, appeared to deny the rumour, telling the Press Association:

"I haven't even seen the warrant yet. We have got 10 days to do this and a lot of complex schedules to organise... I am sure it will be announced when it happens. I have not yet spoken to the police."

Assange met with Stephens and fellow lawyer Jennifer Robinson earlier this morning, and was expected to release a video statement later today.

On Monday, Stephens told BBC's Newsnight that the Swedish warrant for Assange's arrest was a "political stunt".

A video statement from Robinson is available on The Guardian's web site. In it, she repeats Stephens' earlier claim that Sweden had breached European human rights law by failing to communicate the allegations against Assange in English.

A comment piece written by Assange is due to appear in The Australian newspaper later today.

More details as soon as we have them.