After years of avoiding Swedish investigation, Julian Assange arrested in London

3:09 min

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London on Thursday ending a chapter that started here in Sweden, almost a decade ago.

His saga began in 2010 in Stockholm when two Swedish women accused him of sexual assault. At that time, the whistleblower group WikiLeaks was in the headlines, after publishing classified US documents and diplomatic cables. 

Assange later sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. The South American nation later granted him political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden, which Assange said would result in him being sent to the US.

Prosecutors here eventually shelved their case but today a lawyer for one of the women who accused Assange of rape, welcomed the arrest and called for the preliminary investigation to be resumed.

A judge in London on Thursday afternoon found Julian Assange guilty of breaching his bail at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The 47-year-old had entered an innocent plea to a charge that he failed to surrender to custody under an order for his extradition to Sweden.

Assange faced allegation of rape and molestation in Sweden when he sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London 2012. The sexual assault charges have since been dropped, but a charge of skipping bail remained in place.

Assange faces a sentence of up to 12 months for the conviction, and has serious charges pending in the United States.

The US has demanded Assange's extradition from the UK for charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

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