Police spend over $5m guarding Julian Assange

The round-the-clock police bill for guarding Julian Assange, holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, has exceeded $5.2m (£3.5), it has emerged.

Police have been stationed at the Knightsbridge-based embassy 24-hours a day, since June 19 when the Wikileaks founder was granted political asylum. It costs around £11,000 a day to keep-up the permanent police presence of around eight police officers and other surveillance and video equipment.

Assange is wanted on sexual abuse charges in Sweden, but claims that the allegations against him have been trumped up by the US, which would like to see him extradited to stand trial there for publishing scores of diplomatic cables.

The UK authorities have granted him asylum but promised to arrest the Australian national if her steps foot outside the embassy compound.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Close but no cigar. The UK did not grant Assange asylum. Ecuador did. He is the UK's first political refugee FROM the UK in half a century.

    Oh. And there are no "charges" - Assange has not even been asked for his side of the story yet by police for the majority of the allegations against him. This constant repeating of the word "charges" is designed to give readers the impression that Assange is avoiding a trial - when the case is still in the very early stages of investigation. Most people would agree, I think, that it is usual to at least speak to someone about allegations of a sexual nature and he said/she said variety to get their version of events first before proceeding to the next stage, yes? Very odd that the Swedish prosecution insist that the only suitable venue for such questioning is indefinite detention in a Swedish jail cell...

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