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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested in London

Julian Assange arrested in London.

Chelsea Manning, the army intelligence analyst who leaked government documents to the WikiLeaks founder, was jailed for refusing to answer a grand jury’s questions about Assange and WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested, clearing the way for his possible extradition to the United States where he has been charged with conspiracy for leaking classified government documents with the help of Chelsea Manning.

British police carried Assange out of London's Ecuadorean embassy early Thursday morning, Reuters reports. The 47-year-old Australian programmer has been living there in asylum for seven years to avoid sexual assault charges in Sweden. Ecuador revoked his asylum, though it's currently unclear as to why.

It's possible that Assange will now be extradited to the U.S., where he has been charged with conspiracy, federal prosecutors confirmed to Reuters. In 2018, a clerical error revealed to the public that the WikiLeaks co-founder has been indicted by a federal court in Virginia, the same one that subpoenaed Chelsea Manning earlier this year, though the nature of the indictment remains obscured.

Assange's conspiracy charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, Reuters says. His first extradition hearing will be held on May 2, BuzzFeed News reports. The Swedish woman who says that Assange raped her is also trying to reopen her case, Agence France-Presse reports, which prosecutors dropped in 2017.

Manning, a former army intelligence analyst who leaked classified government documents to Assange in 2010, was jailed in March after she refused to answer questions posed by a grand jury that concerned Assange and WikiLeaks. She has been locked up in Alexandria's William G. Truesdale Detention Center for 36 days, the first month of which she spent in solitary confinement. She's appealing her incarceration, BuzzFeed says.

RELATED | Chelsea Manning Reportedly Released from Solitary Confinement

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