Australia opposes death penalty as Assange supporters march


Prime Minister Scott Morrison said any extradition plans had "nothing to do with Australia", and that Assange would receive only standard assistance from Australian consular officials.

Morrison told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the Australian-born citizen would be at the mercy of the judicial system overseas.

Ecuador's recent attempts to stake out a comparatively independent foreign policy, something of which the Assange asylum move was a product, made them a lot of enemies, particularly in the US. "This and other publications have confirmed the world's suspicion that Mr Assange is still linked to WikiLeaks and therefore involved in interfering in internal affairs of other states", Moreno said.

Assange's seven-year hideout in Ecuador's London embassy ended dramatically yesterday when police dragged the WikiLeaks founder out of the building into a waiting van.

Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, tweeted that her client "has been arrested not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to a U.S. extradition request".

British police said he was arrested for skipping his bail in 2012 and on behalf of the US due to an extradition warrant.

Assange had taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 in order to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges.

The US Justice Department said Assange was being charged with a computer hacking conspiracy relating to his work with former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in March 2010.

Mr Assange refused to leave the embassy, fearing arrest and extradition to the USA for releasing classified military and diplomatic documents through his investigative journalism operation, WikiLeaks.

Holding signs with messages including "Free Assange - No U.S. extradition", they chanted: "Free the truth; Free Assange; Don't shoot the messenger".

Moreno said his country "had reached its limit" with Assange in a statement reported by the BBC that cited WikiLeaks' January 2019 release of secret Vatican documents.