Ecuador’s Maria Paula Romo has not named the man but has said he has been arrested for “investigative purposes”. Ecuador’s interior ministry tweeted: “A person close to Wikileaks, who has been residing in Ecuador, was arrested this afternoon when he was preparing to travel to Japan.” The man who was arrested has reportedly lived in Ecuador for several years and has visited the country’s London embassy where Assange was staying.
An anonymous government official has told the Associated Press that the man who was arrested is the Swedish software developer, Ola Bini.
Mr Bini was supposedly arrested as he was about to board a plane to Japan to undergo martial arts training.
Prominent academic and activist, Vijay Prashad, said “Ola Bini is an innocent man, arrested in Ecuador for no reason…”.
Chief Scientist at ThoughtWorks and Bini’s former colleague, Martin Fowler, also tweeted: “I’m very concerned to hear that my friend and colleague Ola Bini has been arrested in Ecuador. He is a strong advocate and developer supporting privacy and has not been able to speak to any lawyers”.
On Thursday Ecuador withdrew Assange’s asylum and the Metropolitan Police were invited into the embassy to arrest him.
Following his arrest, Mr Assange was taken to a London court and found guilty of failing to surrender to the court in 2012.
Assange had been living at the embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has now been dropped.
Ecuador’s President Moreno said in a video posted to Twitter that he had revoked Assange’s asylum because of his “discourteous and aggressive behaviour”.
The President said he was concerned Assange was still working with WikiLeads and was “involved in interfering in international affairs of other states”.
Assange became known in 2010 when Wikileaks, which he founded, published a series of leaks.
Following these leaks, the federal government of the US launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks and asked allied nations for assistance