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Assange stakeout costs Londoners $9 mn

Published time: April 25, 2014 18:48
Edited time: June 27, 2014 08:16
Julian Assange.(AFP Photo / Anthony Devlin)

Julian Assange.(AFP Photo / Anthony Devlin)

Guarding the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Julian Assange has sought political asylum, has cost the Metropolitan Police £5.3 million ($9 million), officers have had the place staked out around the clock since June 2012.

A freedom of information request by the British media to London’s Metropolitan Police estimates the cost of policing the Ecuadorian embassy between June 2012 and December 2013 at £5.3 million, including £4.4 million ($7.3 million) going on police pay, while £900,000 ($1.5 million) was spent paying officers overtime.

The cost to the London taxpayer is just under £10,000 ($17,000) a day. At any time of the day or night, there are three officers stationed outside the embassy, ready to arrest Assange if he tries to make a run for it – or pops out for a pint of milk.

The 42-year old WikiLeaks founder is wanted for questioning in Sweden for allegedly sexually assaulting two women in Stockholm in 2010.

Assange denies the charges but will not travel to Sweden to be questioned because he says the charges are politically motivated for his work with WikiLeaks and he will be extradited to the US. WikiLeaks enraged Washington by publishing thousands of leaked diplomatic cables in 2010.

Baroness Jenny Jones, deputy chair of the Police and Crime Committee at the London Assembly, has said the situation should not be allowed to go on indefinitely, saying the huge costs it should be borne by the national government, not by Londoners.

But Assange could potentially stay in his Knightsbridge bolt hole until 2022, when the statute of limitations on his extradition expires.

“It is complete madness when we are struggling to keep police officers on the beat. The cost is falling on the London taxpayers as a net police cost. He could stay there for years,” Jones said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.

Earlier this month, Swedish MPs called for prosecutors to travel to London to interview Assange at the embassy, and that they should accept that Assange won’t be leaving under his own will.

Comments (36)

 

Friðrik Brekkan 20.05.2014 14:23

Leave him (Assange) alone, let him go. There are graver things happening that need attention. Give the deprived British poor districts more police protection to hinder crime.

 

Internaut 27.04.2014 19:29

"Guarding the embassy"? Or, do they mean waiting to grab Assange?

Did govt have to hire a lot more cops to 'guard' the place? $9 mn is a lot of damned good pay.

Or, do cops site around without pay until they are put to work standing around waiting for Assange to try to leave?

Good lord, do politicians and bullycrats actully think there are enough sheople out there to beleive this - this 'stuff' or do they think that trying to baffel us with BS and attempt to befuddle us with gobbldegook will ahve everyone fall in line?

Well. .. stupid is as stupid does...

i



 

Karen 27.04.2014 18:14

Mike Oxstiff 26.04.2014 07:58

I wish we were like Russia and didnt respect other countries sovereignty and invade the embassy to get the "alleged" rapist

  


They almost did. I recall an interview with Assange, I think on RT, where he said he heard the forces going up the embassy stairwell late at night and he thought they were going to storm the embassy. The UK Government threatened to forcibly seize Assange from the embassy if he were granted asylum. They backed down when there was an outcry from the world community, as embassies are sovereign territory.

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