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UK Classifies Spending on Policing Wikileaks Founder After Scandal

© AP Photo / Sang TanSurrounded by British police WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, centre, makes a statement to the media and supporters from a window of Ecuadorian Embassy in central London.
Surrounded by British police WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, centre, makes a statement to the media and supporters from a window of Ecuadorian Embassy in central London. - Sputnik International
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Following Freedom of Information Act requests, the UK has classified the expense budget to police Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of the controversial Wikileaks website, as he remains locked away in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the United Kingdom.

The government confirmed that they had spent 12.6 million pounds on policing the embassy from June 2012 through August 2015, but would not reveal the cost of “covert activity,” or costs through October 2015, as requested.

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The FIO request, published in full by Hazel Press, explained that a Metropolitan Police press release had claimed that the department would use “covert tactics” to arrest Assange, but would "not discuss what form its continuing operation will take or the resourcing implications surrounding it." The letter further noted that the department stated that "resources are finite," and, "the current deployment of officers is no longer believed proportionate.”

The letter asked how the public could trust that the costs of the activities are proportionate and in their interest, if they are not allowed to know the cost.

“How much is MPS covert activity at the Ecuadorian Embassy costing UK taxpayers per month? If an exact figure cannot be given, please provide an estimation,” the first request asked.

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“What is the total cost of MPS visible activity at the Ecuadorian Embassy from 19 June 2012 to 12 October 2015? If an exact figure cannot be given, please provide an estimation,” the letter continued.

The Home Office cited national security and that a disclosure could prejudice crime prevention, apprehension or prosecution of offenders, and/or the administration of justice.

Assange has currently been effectively detained at the Ecuadorian Embassy for 1865 days over his publishing on Wikileaks, without charges.

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