Julian Assange: Six times the WikiLeaks founder annoyed the Ecuadorian embassy

Julian Assange arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London after the WikiLeaks founder was arrested and taken into custody following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum
Julian Assange arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London after the WikiLeaks founder was arrested and taken into custody following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested by the Metropolitan Police and forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the hacker has been holed up since June 2012.

Assange took up residence in the redbrick townhouse in Knightsbridge seven years ago to avoid being extradited to Sweden to answer sexual assault allegations.

While those charges have since been dropped, the Australian has remained a wanted man for violating the terms of his bail and stayed on, enjoying the South Americans' hospitality until the country's government finally snapped and revoked his asylum, citing his "discourteous and aggressive behavior".

Elaborating, Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno said they would no longer shield Assange "after his repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols".

Precisely what Moreno meant by that last phrase is unclear but Assange is known to have tried the patience of his protectors on more than occasion.

Here are six reasons Julian Assange outstayed his welcome.

1. Embarrassing the Ecuadorian government online.

Last October, embassy staff were so fed up with his conduct they introduced a list of house rules for their guest to abide by.

The memo included a stipulation that Assange should refrain from embarrassing Ecuador by commenting on sensitive international political issues online.

They had already found themselves force to suspend his internet access in March 2018 because, the embassy said, Assange had breached "a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states".

2. Not looking after his cat.

That list also insisted Assange take charge of the "well-being, food, hygiene and proper care" of his pet tabby cat or risk its being given away to an animal shelter.

He had apparently not been consistent in cleaning up after the poor thing, which was known to sit at the window wearing a natty little necktie.

Assange is now understood to have given "Embassy Cat" away to ensure it has a freer life elsewhere but the pair used to regularly pose together on Instagram.

3.Not cleaning his bathroom.

The memo also demanded the guest clean his own bathroom and do his own laundry, warning that the embassy would cease paying for the cost of his stay as of 1 December 2018.

4. Skateboarding in the halls.

Staff were also annoyed about the stir-crazy Assange riding a skateboard in the halls, scuffing its costly wooden floorboards and alarming visiting diplomats, according to Insider.

5. Ruining the lawn.

He wasn't much more considerate outside.

Staff also complained about Assange playing football outdoors, tearing up the lawn and placing ground floor windows in jeopardy with off-target screamers.

6. Maintaining poor personal hygiene.

The Julian Assange dragged down the embassy steps by police officers on Thursday morning was almost unrecognisable from the silver-haired rogue agent he had once styled himself as, with no little vanity.

The 47-year-old looked twice his age and resembled mad American tycoon Howard Hughes as he was carried away ranting about the UK's lack of sovereignty from beneath a bushy snow white beard.

This appeared to confirm embassy rumours about his appalling lack of self-care.

"Julian ate everything with his hands and he always wiped his fingers on his pants. I have never seen pants as greasy as his in my whole life," his aide Daniel Domscheit-Berg told The International Business Times in January 2018.

"Julian scorns all attempts at social graces. He eats like a pig," confirmed ghost writer Andrew O'Hagan, recounting an evening in which Assange had helped himself to three rounds of lasagne and eaten a baked potato and a helping of jam pudding with his bare hands.

All in all, it sounds like the embassy will be glad to see the back of him.

There's nothing worse than a guest who overstays their welcome and Ecuador's attorney-general, Inigo Salvador, said Assange's stay had cost his country $6m (£4.6m) all in last November.

More: Nine of the most important things that happened while Julian Assange was in the Ecuadorian embassy

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