Scotland Yard confirmed the arrest and said its officers had executed a warrant against Assange dating back to June 2012 for breach of bail conditions.
The 47-year-old Australian national has been holed up in a back room of the Ecuador embassy in central London for nearly seven years now for fear of being extradited to the US, where he faces a possible death sentence or torture for Wikileaks' alleged leak of secrets.
"He (Assange) has been taken into custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates' Court as soon as is possible," a Metropolitan Police statement said, adding that Assange had been arrested on a warrant issued by the same court on June 29 2012, for "failing to surrender to the court."
"The MPS (Met Police Service) had a duty to execute the warrant, on behalf of Westminster Magistrates' Court, and was invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum," the statement said.
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