Saturday, August 25, 2012

photoleaks london popo plan to ambush wikileaks founder

Telegraph | A policeman has accidentally revealed a secret plan to seize Julian Assange “under all circumstances” if he steps outside the Ecuadorian embassy, in an embarrassment for Scotland Yard.

The uniformed Met officer was pictured holding a clipboard detailing possible ways the WikiLeaks founder could try to escape from the building he has been holed up in for the past two months.

His target, who is trying to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over alleged rape and sexual assault, is currently safe on diplomatic territory. He has been given political asylum by the Latin American country, on the grounds that he faces persecution in the USA over his whistle-blowing website, but faces arrest the second he steps outside because he has breached his bail conditions.

The policeman’s handwritten tactical brief, captured by a Press Association photographer as he stood outside the Knightsbridge embassy on Friday afternoon, discloses the “summary of current position re Assange”. It stated: “Action required – Assange to be arrested under all circumstances.”

The notes said should the maverick Australian should be taken even if he emerges in a vehicle, under diplomatic immunity or in a diplomatic bag, which may involve “risk to life”. There had been speculation that he could be smuggled out of the building in a parcel or given a post in the United Nations by Ecuador in an attempt to evade arrest.

The operational guidance, marked “restricted”, also warned of the “possibility of distraction”, suggesting that the Yard fears Mr Assange’s supporters could try to create a commotion outside the embassy, providing cover under which he could flee.

Further details of the notes, which were obscured by the officer holding them, appeared to relate to the “everyday business” of the embassy and the possible need for “additional support” from an unknown agency known as SS10. Scotland Yard said it did not know what this referred to.

The last few sentences referred to SO20, the counter-terrorism command, and included the words "welfare" and "standards".

A separate page carried by the uniformed officer, who was chatting to a colleague, showed an “event diary” including codes and phone numbers.

The blunder by the policeman, captured by a Press Association photographer on Friday afternoon, has echoes of the downfall of Britain’s senior counter-terrorism officer in 2009.