Tags: julian assange | british | taxpayers | extradition

Julian Assange: Cost to Police WikiLeaks Founder at $15M and Counting

By    |   Friday, 06 Feb 2015 10:47 AM

Julian Assange has cost British taxpayers around £10 million ($15.2 million USD) because of the need for round-the-clock police detail outside London's Ecuadorian embassy where the WikiLeaks founder has been evading extradition since 2012.

Assange claimed asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy in June 2012 after he was accused of sexually assaulting two women in Stockholm, Sweden, The Telegraph reported. Since then, British authorities have camped outside of the embassy ready to take Assange into custody if he shows his face.

Metropolitan Police have waited and waited to no avail while the bill for the 24-hour detail continues to climb.

Assange also reportedly fears capture by the United States on espionage charges, according to The Guardian U.K.

London assembly member Jenny Jones called the stakeout price tag over the top.

"It's ridiculous that for over a year now the Metropolitan police service have been stationed outside the Ecuadorian embassy waiting for Julian Assange to attempt an escape," Jones told The Guardian. "At a time when the Met is making cuts how can this be a priority for the police?"

"This situation cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely. The mayor really should be trying to find a solution to this stalemate because in the meantime the Met is spending time and resources on an expensive stakeout," she continued.

The Guardian reported that British foreign secretary William Hague and Ecuadorian foreign secretary Ricardo Patiño have met to try and reach a diplomatic solution to the Assange situation but nothing has been resolved so far.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told The Telegraph he has reached a level of frustration with Assange's determination not to leave to embassy.

"Am I frustrated that taxpayers are picking up the tab around the Ecuadorian Embassy? Yes, sure," Clegg said. "Just imagine the frustration of the Swedish government. This is a country with impeccable democratic credentials with a well-respected judicial system who say that he should go to Sweden to face very serious allegations and charges of rape, which he denies. Of course, the right thing for him to do is to do that and face justice and to face justice in a country where due process is well-established."

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Julian Assange has cost British taxpayers around £10 million ($15.2 million USD) because of the need for round-the-clock police detail outside London's Ecuadorian embassy where the WikiLeaks founder has been evading extradition since 2012.
julian assange, british, taxpayers, extradition
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2015-47-06
Friday, 06 Feb 2015 10:47 AM
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