Assange costs UK £6mn in policing: Figures

Assange costs UK £6mn in policing: Figures

Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:15PM GMT

The Metropolitan Police, Britain’s biggest police force, has spent almost £6 million ($10million) for policing the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up, new figures show.

According to the statistics obtained by London-based LBC Radio on Friday, the daily cost of monitoring the South American country’s diplomatic mission stands at nearly £9,000 ($15,000).

Baroness Jenny Jones, deputy chair of the Police and Crime Committee at the London Assembly, said the huge cost is “absolute madness” and “ludicrous.”

“I have been asking the Met questions about this because clearly at the moment the cost is falling on the London taxpayers as a net police cost,” she added.

The Met police have been stationed outside the embassy in Knightsbridge, west London, every day and night over the past 22 months ready to arrest the Australian campaigner if he steps out of the building.

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 2012 and secured political asylum from Quito after he lost a legal battle against extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over the sexual abuse allegations.

It is believed that Assange’s extradition to Sweden is a cover for sending him to the US, where he is wanted over the release of thousands of classified US documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on his whistleblower website.

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