LONDON   -   British police have arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who had been living in Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012 to avoid arrest and extradition.

Police in the UK capital on Thursday said they arrested the Australian national after being “invited into the embassy by the ambassador, following the Ecuadorean government’s withdrawal of asylum”. Footage appeared to show police dragging a bearded Assange from the embassy and putting him into a police van.a

In a statement on Thursday, London’s Metropolitan Police said Assange had been “taken into custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as is possible”.

Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from outside the court where Assange’s hearing is currently taking place, said that as well as being arrested for the charge of skipping bail, Assange had been “further arrested” for charges he faces in the United States.

The Swedish judiciary has dropped its investigation into accusations of rape against Assange, but British authorities had said they would still arrest him if he left the embassy because he violated his bail conditions by fleeing arrest in 2012.

Assange says he fears being extradited to the US where he could face charges relating to the publication of hacked government documents on the wars in  Afghanistan  and Iraq.

WikiLeaks, a non-profit that publishes secret information has fallen foul of various governments. Assange, who always denied the rape allegations against him, has previously suggested charges against him are politically motivated.a