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Julian Assange: Police end guard at Wikileaks founder's embassy refuge

Police will no longer be stationed outside the Ecuadorean embassy in London where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has sought refuge since 2012.
Julian Assange
Met Police officers had been there since Mr Assange sought asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden over a rape allegation, which he denies.
The Met said it had cost £12.6m and was "no longer proportionate" - but it would still try to arrest him.
Wikileaks said the decision did not change Mr Assange's situation.

'Overt and covert'

Scotland Yard said that "resources are finite" and there were "so many different criminal, and other, threats to the city".
"The Metropolitan Police Service has to balance the interests of justice in this case with the ongoing risks to the safety of Londoners and all those we protect, investigating crime and arresting offenders wanted for serious offences, in deciding what a proportionate response is," it said.
However the force also said it would be deploying "a number of overt and covert tactics to arrest him".
Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said he had spoken to Mr Assange about the Met decision, and he agreed it did not change his situation.
"They will still arrest Julian if he steps outside the embassy so there is no real change to the situation, other than the removal of uniformed police officers," he said.
The Australian sought asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden, because he feared he would then be sent to the US and put on trial for releasing secret US documents.

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