Govwaste.co.uk cash-ticker edges past the £10,000,000 mark, calls Assange’s forced asylum a farce
The UK government has now spent £10 million keeping Wikileaker Julian Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
A website set up by Wikileaks supporters, called govwaste.co.uk, has a counter on the front page that has just creeped past the £10,000,000 mark. The website reads: “Julian Assange has been effectively detained without charge since December 2010.
“Ecuador has stated that Assange can stay indefinitely. That doesn’t bode well for taxpayers.”
The Government has to pay for a round-the-clock police cordon outside of the embassy.
Govewaste.org claims that the money spent on keeping tabs on Assange inside the embassy could pay for over eight million meals for the needs, nearly 40,000 hosiptal beds for one night, and pay 459 teachers for one year.
Scotland Yard has now confirmed that costs for the Assange operation hit £9 million in October.
“Confusion as to precisely what this money is being spent on”
Hazel Press, an independent nonprofit news organisation, carried out an investigation into the seemingly high costs to the taxpayer for Assange’s default detention. Hazel Press said: “In October 2012, London’s mayor Boris Johnson stated that the cost of police operations around the embassy between 20 June and 10 September had reached £905,000. According to a FOI request the cost from 19 June 2012 to 31 January 2013 was £2.9 million, or £12,832 per day.
“A recent Daily Mail FOI request has revealed the long-term cost of the siege. It seems that by 19 June 2014 it will have reached £6,350,000 – or, to put it another way, it is costing UK taxpayers £3,175,000 per year.
“There is some confusion as to precisely what this money is being spent on. Four teams of eight police officers, plus logistics, waiting to arrest Assange around-the-clock for two years should not cost more than £3,234,176 – which leaves £3,115,824 unaccounted for. That the Met has refused to release a “break down” of the policing costs “on national security grounds” adds to concerns that this money is being used to surveil the embassy.”
Julian Assange, 43, is the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, the website which published the US military and diplomatic documents which were leaked by Chelsea Manning, a former NSA employee who turned rogue.
Since then, Assange has been under investigation by the US, but is also facing prosecution in Sweden for alleged sexual offences against two Wikileaks volunteers. Assange claims the accusations are politically moptivated. In 2012, he was granted political asylum by Ecuador and has been residing in the Embassy of Ecuador in London ever since.
In August last year, Julian Assange said he plans to leave the embassy of Ecuador in London “soon,” speaking at a press conference hosted by the country’s Foreign Minister Ricarod Patino. He gave no date, however, and denied he plans to surrender to the authorities.
The founder of WikiLeaks left the media guessing again. Some reports had said he is tired of living in a self-imposed exile and ready to hand himself in, but a spokesman for the website reportedly clarified that Assange will only leave the embassy when the UK grants him safe passage.
During the press conference Assange acknowledged that hist stay at the embassy has affected his health, but hinted that reports of his illness are exaggerated.
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