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Assange policing costs near 30 million kronor

Published: 16 Feb 2013 08:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Feb 2013 09:22 GMT+01:00

Officers have been stationed outside ever since the WikiLeaks founder jumped bail and fled there on June 19 after losing his battle in the British courts against extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault. Ecuador has granted him political asylum.

Scotland Yard police headquarters estimated the total cost to the end of January at £2.9 million ($4.5 million) - £2.3 million in salary for the officers stationed on duty and the rest in overtime payments.

The embassy is a flat in a mansion block in west London's plush Knightsbridge district. It is across the street from the back of Harrods department store.

Assange, a 41-year-old Australian former computer hacker, founded the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website which enraged Washington by releasing cables and war logs relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the biggest security breach in American history.

A spokesman at the Ecuadoran embassy said: "The Ecuadoran government is concerned by the significant cost to the taxpayers of London of policing the embassy".

"However, we believe this expenditure could be avoided if the UK government would provide the undertakings that the Ecuadoran government has sought that there will be no onward extradition of Julian Assange to the United States."

"The Home Office (Britain's interior ministry) has the power to offer such an assurance but has so far declined to do so."

"Until we obtain these undertakings, the Ecuadoran government will continue to protect Julian Assange's human rights that are enshrined in international law."

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

10:55 February 16, 2013 by johan rebel
Maybe the Ecuadorian goverment should try its hand at protecting the human rights of its own citizens. These rights are enshrined in international law, remember?
11:34 February 16, 2013 by byke
Having seen the area on numerous different occasions, its clear that the resources being pumped into this case are extremely disproportionate. including squirrels.

If we put it into context, and look at the Abu Hamza.

The costs associated with Assange are much higher, and for what? he is wanted for questioning.

This whole scenario is not about justice, but deterrent.

The only reason that so much cash is being pumped into all this is not to seek any form of judicial settlement, but to restrict a threat and look to and cut off in the hopes of shutting down a organisation that poses serious threats to political powers.
12:09 February 16, 2013 by Great Scott
How local is The Local when it continues to use a faraway currency like the $.

To The Local, Hello this is Europe. What would Americans say if articles used SEK or The Euro?
13:42 February 16, 2013 by Children Of Adam
TAX payers money are now used by gangs block "Freedom of Speech and information".

When it comes to insult Islam then we are not blocking any person because it is OK to use the "freedom of speech", but when it comes to government crimes then the same person is labelled as a treat to the national security. What a double faced westerns! Free this guy and let him to speak!

By the way, the sex law in Sweden must be changed as it always blames Males and girls go free, even those who fake story of rape.
15:49 February 16, 2013 by k2kats
"Interesting" reporting, as always, when it comes to Assange.

The real problem is that he foolishly refused to acknowledge that freedom of speech comes with rights and responsibilities and appears to think that the ends justify the means. Had he replaced these immature impulses for intelligent coalition building, he could have had a significant, positive impact and the status he so obviously craves.

Instead he compounded it by thumbing his nose at the British and Swedish justice system, complains that everyone is complicit with the US, and feels that he should have some special dispensation from having to explain his behaviour or accept consequences for it. Shades of narcissism? Ja!
19:47 February 16, 2013 by unionisten
so children of adam how will you change the swedish law?
20:43 February 16, 2013 by cogito
@Great Scott (#3)

The Economist uses that "faraway currency," the dollar. As do most respectable international publications.

Deal with it.
20:53 February 16, 2013 by Svensksmith
I don't think Children of Adam likes women too much.
21:26 February 16, 2013 by viennacalling
Currency Online will give you an exchange rate of 1.56

I just feel sorry for all the poor taxpayers of the world the 97 Percent of us who pay the most taxes on the Globe ! its True Do the Maths We support all these Stupid So Called Leaders !
10:17 February 17, 2013 by SimonDMontfort
Amusing to see how how the article 'hedges its bets' by quoting not only dollars, but sterling and SEKs!

Many must wish that Mr Assange was put on a plane to Sweden, at the end of the legal hearings - to let the Swedes sort out this mess. As it is, the UK are now committed to this expense, as they agreed to implement the respective legislation, and they are worried that it would set a precedent to allow a suspect to set out the terms under which he will be extradited
15:21 February 17, 2013 by Great Scott
@ cogito

I had planned another form of response to your comment, but it seems The Local has been professional and changed the original text. Well don't The Local.
08:46 February 18, 2013 by robban70226
Maybe UK should charge Sweden.. It is Sweden's BS story..
00:44 February 19, 2013 by Children Of Adam
@Svensksmith

I do like women but not the system where it only blames men. You would find out how the Swedish Judaical system are in favor of women then men once your partner anmäla you ;)
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