Julian Assange is a 47-year-old Australian national. A computer programmer, he became famous as the editor-in-chief of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
Founded in 2006, WikiLeaks is a searchable database that publishes information, news leaks, and classified media provided by anonymous sources.
It claims to have amassed a database of 10 million documents in the 10 years since its launch.
Assange is being investigated over WikiLeaks’ release of sensitive US Government files.
The leaks included Afghanistan and Iraq war logs, a video entitled “Collateral Murder” and CableGate.
Why is Julian Assange in exile?
The WikiLeaks founder has been living in exile in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012.
He sought asylum there after Swedish police wanted to question him over allegations of sexual assault and rape.
Sweden dropped the case in 2017 but Mr Assange remains in the embassy because he fears being extradited to the US to face charges over the WikiLeaks website’s release of sensitive US government files.
A Metropolitan Police arrest warrant is also still in force as Assange absconded after being released on bail in 2010.
So it is likely he will be arrested as soon as he steps out of the Ecuadorian embassy’s grounds.
Why could Julian Assange be forced to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy?
Assange could be forced to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in a matter of hours.
WikiLeaks tweeted on Thursday night: “A high-level source within the Ecuadorian state has told WikiLeaks that Julian Assange will be expelled within ‘hours to days’ using the INA papers offshore scandal as a pretext and that it already has an agreement with the UK for his arrest.”
According to The Guardian, Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, said Mr Assange had “repeatedly violated” some of the conditions of his asylum.
Mr Moreno said: “Assange cannot lie or, much less, hack into private accounts or private phones.”
Mr Assange was also ordered by Ecuador to not “intervene in the politics of countries, or worse friendly countries”.
The president claims that photos of his bedroom, wife and family were circulated online, although he didn’t accuse Mr Assange of doing this.
He added: “We should ensure Mr Assange’s life is not at risk but he’s violated the agreement we have with him so many times.”
You can follow this story as it unfolds in our Julian Assange live eviction blog here.