After spending three years effectively imprisoning Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy the British police, after spending £11.1 million, have finally called it quits:
Scotland Yard has called off its multimillion pound 24-hour surveillance of the Ecuadorian embassy where Julian Assange has been living for 40 months, having decided the operation is “no longer proportionate”.
The WikiLeaks founder, an Australian national, sought political asylum at the embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors want to question him over rape allegations. In August they dropped their investigation into two other claims – one of sexual molestation and one of unlawful coercion – because they ran out of time to question him.
Metropolitan police officers have maintained a constant watch of the embassy in Knightsbridge, central London, at a cost of at least £11.1m, according to figures released by Scotland Yard in June.
This doesn’t mean Assange is a free man. British police have stated that they will arrest him if he leaves the embassy. But it’s nice to know that even the State has limits to how much money it’s willing to spend to nab one man whose only crime is leaking its dirty secrets (the rape allegation, due to the lack of any formal charges, still seems more like a play to get Assange into the State’s hands then a concern over an actual crime).