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The UK has spent about £10 million ($15 million) providing a 24-hour guard at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed asylum there, Scotland Yard figures show.
Julian Assange, who denies allegations he assaulted two women in Sweden, faces arrest if he leaves the embassy.
A WikiLeaks spokesman said the policing costs were “embarrassing”.
Deputy PM Nick Clegg said Julian Assange should go to Sweden and “face justice”.
Between June 2012 and October 2014, direct policing costs were £7.3 million ($11 million), with £1.8 million ($2.8 million) spent on overtime, police said.
Scotland Yard confirmed the cost of the operation to UK taxpayers in the first 28 months, until October 31, 2014, had reached £9 million ($13.5 million).
According to British police, the costs were covered by the budget for diplomatic protection, which provides policing for embassies in the UK.
The cost of a further three months policing is now expected to have taken the total bill to about £10 million ($15 million).
“It is embarrassing to see the UK government spending more on surveillance and detaining an uncharged political refugee than on its investigation into the Iraq war, which killed hundreds of thousands,” WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said.
Julian Assange has attacked Sweden, saying the country had “imported Guantanamo’s most shameful legal practice – indefinite detention without charge”.
In August 2014, Julian Assange indicated he would “soon” leave the embassy, where he has now been for more than 950 days, but he remains inside.
Swedish authorities want to question Julian Assange over allegations that he assaulted two women while he was in Stockholm to give a lecture in 2010.
A Swedish appeal court upheld an arrest warrant against Julian Assange in November 2014.
UK courts have repeatedly ruled that he should be extradited to Sweden to face questioning.
But Julian Assange fears he could be extradited to the US to face charges over the release of top-secret documents by WikiLeaks.
He entered Ecuador’s embassy in London after the UK’s Supreme Court dismissed his bid to reopen his appeal against extradition. He was then granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012.
Julian Assange has been warned he will be arrested if he leaves the embassy, prompting the 24-hour guard by Metropolitan Police officers.
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Scotland Yard has contacted Prince Charles and Mohamed Al-Fayed as the police assess claims that the SAS murdered Princess Diana.
Police said they are also getting in touch with Lord Justice Scott Baker, the judge who presided over the inquest into her death.
Princess Diana, 36, Mohamed Al-Fayed’s son Dodi, 42, and driver Henri Paul, 41, all died in a crash in Paris in August 1997.
Police are currently carrying out a “scoping exercise” as they look into claims that the trio were murdered by a member of the British Military.
They have not launched a full investigation.
Royal bodyguards and MPs have brushed off accusations that the Princess of Wales’ death 16 years ago was carried out by British special forces who then “covered it up”.
The sensational allegation surfaced in the second court martial of Sergeant Danny Nightingale, the SAS sniper convicted of illegally stashing a pistol and 338 bullets in his bedroom.
The claim was contained in a letter from the parents-in-law of Soldier N, Sgt Danny Nightingale’s former housemate, which was sent to the SAS’s commanding officer in September 2011.
Scotland Yard confirmed in a brief statement this morning that they will be contacting members of the Royal family to inform them about the new developments.
“We are in the process of notifying Princess Diana’s family, the family of Dodi Al Fayed and Lord Justice Scott Baker,” a spokesman said.
Scotland Yard has contacted Prince Charles and Mohamed Al-Fayed as the police assess claims that the SAS murdered Princess Diana
Scotland Yard routinely contact relevant parties to keep them informed about what is going on when there are new developments in a historic case.
The eight-page correspondence claims Soldier N boasted it was the SAS that had “arranged Princess Diana’s death” and that it had been “covered up”.
Sergeant Danny Nightingale, 38, was found guilty last month of illegally possessing a pistol and ammunition at a Hereford house he shared with Soldier N.
Soldier N, who is serving a custodial sentence for possessing firearms at the same address, was originally reported to the police by his wife, from whom he is now separated.
The letter was sent to Soldier N’s commanding officer in September 2011 and passed to the Service Prosecuting Authority before the start of the Nightingale trial.
All references to the SAS were removed by the SPA.
The paragraph referring to the death of Princess Diana says: “He also told her [his wife] that it was the *** who arranged Princess Diana’s death and that has been covered up.”
The letter says Soldier N told his wife there is a “box which members of his unit use for private jobs”.
“They put in the box the name, address and details of what they want done and then one of them who wants to earn extra money does that job.”
When Soldier N was challenged by his mother-in-law, he is accused of saying: “Let me stop you right there – I kill women and I kill children.”
As well as hiding weapons in his house, in a “reign of terror” on his family Soldier N allegedly attacked his son after mistaking him for the Taliban.
His children were also allegedly driven around in the boot of his Land Rover and he had hung his son 30ft above the ground in a tree.
An inquest in 2008 found that Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed were unlawfully killed due to the ‘gross negligence’ of driver Henri Paul, a security manager at the Paris Ritz Hotel, who had been drinking.
Henri Paul’s mother Gisele said she believed her son was murdered together with Princess Diana and Mohamed Al-Fayed when the Mercedes he was driving crashed in an underpass.
Gisele Paul, 83, said: “We believe there was a plot to kill the Princess that terrible night in August 1997.
“We know in our hearts that our son was murdered and we still live with the hope that one day the truth will be known.”
The new information was also welcomed by Mohamed Al-Fayed, who also insists the couple were murdered. He said he trusted the Metropolitan Police would investigate the new claims “with vigor”.
A Royal spokesman said there would be no comment from Prince William, Prince Harry or Clarence House.
A number of persons of interest have been identified by UK detectives reviewing the case of the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Madeleine McCann, from Rothley, Leics, was nearly 4-year-old when she went missing from her family’s Portuguese holiday flat in an Algarve resort.
Scotland Yard said officers were working closely with Portuguese police and considering their next steps.
They denied asking Portuguese police to make any arrests.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police went on to say Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were being kept up-to-date with their progress.
Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for the couple, said: “Kate and Gerry remain very, very pleased with the work that Scotland Yard are doing and have been encouraged by Operation Grange [the case review] from the day it began.
“Beyond that, they simply will not comment on what are police operational matters.”
A number of persons of interest have been identified by UK detectives reviewing the case of the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann
The Met Police statement also said: “Our investigative review is ongoing and we are encouraged by the progress we are making.
“We are reviewing a significant number of documents and continue to identify potential lines of inquiry.
“We can confirm that as part of this process we have identified a number of persons of interest, but any suggestion that the MPS [Met Police Service] is asking the Portuguese police to make arrests in connection with this inquiry is entirely inaccurate.”
The UK review into Madeleine McCann’s case – known as Operation Grange – began last May after Prime Minister David Cameron responded to a plea from her parents.
Its objective is for a team of UK officers to work with the Portuguese authorities with a view to reopening the case, which has been closed since 2008.
As part of the review, a computer-generated image of how Madeleine McCann might look now was produced.
Detectives are also poring over thousands of pieces of information from the Portuguese investigation, inquiries by the UK law enforcement agencies, and the work of private investigators and agencies.
British police officer Jeremy Scott, who reportedly wrote on Twitter that he hoped Margaret Thatcher’s death was “painful and degrading”, has resigned.
Sgt. Jeremy Scott of the Metropolitan Police is understood to have published a number of offensive messages since Margaret Thatcher’s death.
He is said to have claimed her death was “87 years too late” and added that the world was a “better place”.
The Met described the comments as “completely unacceptable”.
After the tweets were widely reported Sgt. Jeremy Scott took the matter to the Directorate of Professional Standards.
Sgt. Jeremy Scott is understood to have published a number of offensive messages since Margaret Thatcher’s death
The 52-year-old police officer then submitted his resignation before a police suspension over the incident came into force. It was accepted with immediate effect.
He had reportedly described news of the death as “marvellous stuff” and expressed a wish that the current prime minister, chancellor and home secretary were next.
Commander Allan Gibson said: “This officer’s behavior was completely unacceptable and it is right that he has resigned.”
On Thursday, British PM David Cameron branded some reaction to the death of Lady Thatcher as “pretty distasteful”.
David Cameron went on: “I think the overwhelming sense across the country – and you can see it yesterday in the House of Commons – is that we are mourning the loss of someone who gave a huge amount to this country, an extraordinary leader.”
Margaret Thatcher’s funeral is to be held in London on Wednesday, April 17.
Metropolitan Police in London has announced that sixteen people have been arrested over ticket touting at the Olympics during the past two days.
Five arrests were made ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday and another 11 people were held on Saturday.
Of those arrests a German man, aged 57, and a Slovakian woman, aged 30, have been charged with ticket touting, Scotland Yard said.
The arrests have been made in Stratford near the Olympic Park and in Wimbledon, where the tennis is being held.
Sixteen people have been arrested over ticket touting at the Olympics during the past two days
Metropolitan Police Det. Supt Nick Downing said: “My team has been working tirelessly to clamp down on ticket touts.
“We have been, and will continue to seek out and take robust action against anybody who tries to cash in on the 2012 Games in this way.
“Ticket touting is illegal and is a clear exploitation of those who genuinely wish to experience the Games first-hand.”
Two people have also been arrested in relation to the alleged theft of two Olympic Lane passes.
Scotland Yard is investigating a complaint of alleged assault against tennis player David Nalbandian, who was disqualified from the Aegon Championships final after line judge Andrew McDougall was injured.
Argentine David Nalbandian, 30, was leading Marin Cilic 7-6 (7-3) 3-4 at Queen’s final when he kicked a panel in front of Andrew McDougall’s seat.
Andrew McDougall’s leg was cut and umpire Fergus Murphy awarded the match to Marin Cilic despite boos from the crowd.
David Nalbandian apologised for the incident.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “We are aware of an incident at the Aegon Championships on June 17.
“A complaint has been made and the Metropolitan Police Service is now investigating. The allegation is of assault.”
David Nalbandian was leading Marin Cilic at Queen's final when he kicked a panel in front of Andrew McDougall's seat
The incident happened after David Nalbandian missed a lunging forehand in the second set.
He kicked an advertising hoarding, which flew off its hinges and struck Andrew McDougall in the shin, causing a large gash.
Andrew McDougall received immediate treatment from St John’s Ambulance and saw the tournament medical team.
David Nalbandian told the 6,000-capacity crowd: “I am very sorry, sometimes you get frustrated on court.”
He was deemed guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct and his £36,500 ($58,500) prize money was withdrawn and he could be hit with a further fine.
Anonymous has released a recording of a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard in which they discuss efforts against hacking.
The conference call, said to have taken place last month, covers the tracking of Anonymous and similar groups, dates of planned arrests and evidence details.
Anonymous also published an email, apparently from the FBI, showing the email addresses of call participants.
The FBI confirmed the intercept and said it was hunting those responsible.
“The information was intended for law enforcement officers only and was illegally obtained. A criminal investigation is under way to identify and hold accountable those responsible,” it said in a statement.
Scotland Yard said the matter was being investigated but that no operational risks had been identified.
Anonymous has released a recording of a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard in which they discuss efforts against hacking
A comment on one of the Twitter accounts linked to Anonymous, AnonymousIRC, said: “The FBI might be curious how we’re able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now.”
According to the alleged email, the 17-minute phone call took place on 17 January. It was unclear how Anonymous had managed to obtain the recording.
The email was sent to law enforcement officials in the US, UK, Sweden, Ireland and other countries, inviting them to “discuss the on-going investigations related to Anonymous, Lulzsec, Antisec, and other associated splinter groups”.
In the call, British and American voices, said to be those of police and FBI agents, discuss the names of some of the people they were tracking and plans for legal action.
Usernames are included but some of the real names of people being investigated appear to have been bleeped out.
Among those discussed are several British men accused of being behind cyber attacks in the US and UK, including Jake Davis and Ryan Cleary who were arrested last year.
The police also refer to a 15-year-old who claims to have been behind an attack on online gaming site Steam, where the identities and credit card details of thousands of users were accessed.
A Twitter user going by the same name has since tweeted: “lol.. Still I never got arrested lol.”
One of the British voices on the recording says UK police have made mistakes in previous investigations.
Anonymous is a loose collective of hackers, anarchists and pranksters who have targeted the websites of a range of governments, companies, law enforcement agencies and individuals in recent years.
Also on Friday, hackers operating under the Anonymous name took over the website of Greece’s justice ministry, prompting officials to take the site down.
The hackers said the action was a protest against Greece’s signing of a global copyright treaty and the government’s handling of the economic crisis.
The website was replaced with a video of a figure wearing the symbolic white mask of Anonymous supporters, saying: “Democracy was given birth in your country but you have killed it.”
Royal Marines and Scotland Yard took command of the River Thames yesterday in a determined show of strength as part of a security exercise for the London Olympics called Operation Woolwich Arsenal Pier.
Elite military and police teams joined forces in a combined exercise to give a glimpse of the sheer scale of the Britain’s biggest peacetime security operation yesterday.
The British forces show was designed to test the water for the joint operation, and to illustrate the country’s readiness against terrorism.
Around 100 marines and 50 officers rehearsed a string of high-speed drills amid fears attackers could use the waterways to launch onslaughts on London landmarks.
About 50 marine police officers in rigid inflatables and fast response boats were joined by up to 100 military personnel and a Royal Navy Lynx helicopter for the exercises.
Assistant Commissioner Chris Allison, head of the force’s security operation for the Games, said a Mumbai-style terror attack was one of a host of potential threats to the games.
Royal Marines and Scotland Yard took command of the River Thames yesterday in a determined show of strength as part of a security exercise for the London Olympics called Operation Woolwich Arsenal Pier
Speaking on the shores of the Thames, Chris Allison said: “There is no specific threat from the river but we would be failing in our duty to ignore it at games time.
“What you have seen today is the sort of things we can do.”
Despite a heavy military presence on show today, Chris Allison insisted the sporting event would remain a “blue games”.
The Thames runs directly past the O2 Arena, which will be known as the North Greenwich Arena for the purpose of the Games, when it will host events including gymnastics.
The river will also be used to transport tourists between venues via water buses and a new cable car.
Typhoon jets and HMS Ocean, the largest ship in the Royal Navy’s fleet, will eventually be deployed to protect the London 2012 Games along with up to 13,500 military personnel.
“If we need the military support, it is there,” Chris Allison said.
“All of our planning is designed to mitigate against potential risks during the summer of 2012, and this is an example of where we will be using specialist military capability to support us.
“This exercise is not in response to any specific threat, but is part of our planning to pre-deploy certain specialist assets to bolster our operation.
“This will be a summer like no other in London. The Thames runs through the very heart of our capital and will be a popular place for people who want to be part of the Olympic spirit.
“This is all part of our planning to ensure this summer’s events take place safely and securely.”
Two officers from Scotland Yard investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have flown to Spain as part of a review into the case.
Detectives travelled to Barcelona two weeks ago to liaise with officers as part of a review of the whole investigation.
Officers would not confirm their specific reasons for travelling to Barcelona, however it is thought they might be looking into reports the three-year-old was abducted and smuggled over the border from Portugal to Spain.
This morning Clarence Mitchell, McCann family spokesman said: “Kate and Gerry welcome the on-going work by the Metropolitan Police and they are pleased that the investigative review is making progress.”
Two officers from Scotland Yard investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have flown to Spain as part of a review into the case
The trip is part of the Met Police’s “investigative review” into all the work done since the investigation into the missing child began in 2007.
It was ordered by David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May in May last year.
As part of the review detectives have also travelled to Portugal three times to speak with officers who worked on the original investigation.
They also spent the first five months reading all the information from the case file which had to be translated from Portuguese to English.
There are no suggestions of any major breakthroughs in the case.
According to The Evening Standard, officers could be investigating one theory that the toddler was abducted by a paedophile gang and smuggled over the border to Spain either in a vehicle or by boat.
There were sightings of a girl matching Madeleine McCann’s appearance in Spain shortly after she vanished and Portuguese authorities were criticized for not informing border officials for 12 hours after they first knew she was missing.
In September 2009, the McCanns received 1,000 reports following an appeal of a Victoria Beckham lookalike seen in Barcelona who they thought may be connected to the disappearance of their daughter.
Investigators wanted to trace the woman, said to have been acting suspiciously, who asked a witness at a Barcelona marina if he was there to deliver her “new daughter” on May 7, 2007.
The well-dressed woman was described as possibly having an Australian accent and appeared agitated.
Madeline McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, vanished from Portuguese holiday resort Praia da Luz in the Algarve in 2007. The girl was asleep in the family’s holiday apartment with her brother Sean and sister Amelie when she vanished on May 3, 2007 shortly before her fourth birthday.
Her parents Gerry and Kate McCann, both doctors, were eating at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends at the time.
A Met Police spokesman said two officers had travelled to Portugal three times for the investigative review and two officers travelled to the Spanish city between November 23 and 25.
The spokesman would not reveal any further details but added: “The investigative review is on-going.”
The official Portuguese and Leicestershire police investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance ended in July 2008. However private detectives working for the McCanns have been working to trace her ever since.
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Scotland Yard has charged more than 1,000 suspects over the last weeks London riots.
Tim Godwin, London Metropolitan Police acting commissioner hailed a “significant milestone” as he said a total of 1,005 suspects had been charged after 1,733arrests so far.
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Tim Godwin, who said last weekend that the force was aiming for 3,000 convictions, added that the investigation is “far from over”.
Scotland Yard has charged more than 1,000 suspects over the last weeks London riots
Operation Withern – the force’s investigation into the violence and looting last week – includes 500 officers who have gathered 20,000 hours of CCTV (Closed Circuit TV) footage.
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Forensic officers have made more than 300 submissions to labs from more than 1,100 crime scenes, the force added.
Commissioner Godwin hailed also the work of his officers and Londoners over the response to the crisis.
“Our tireless investigations to find those responsible for last week’s appalling violence continue,” he said.
“Officers across the Met are carrying out great police work, day and night, to gather the kind of evidence which has led to these charges.”
“The response from the public in coming forward with information has been fantastic. I want to thank all communities for their help over the last 10 days and ask for their continued support. If you know anyone involved in the disorder tell us – don’t let them get away with it.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson said:
“Thanks to the commitment and hard work of each and every police officer in London, those responsible for the sickening crimes we saw across the capital last week are swiftly being brought to justice.”
“To have already charged 1,000 people is a testament not only to their dedication, but also to the outstanding support they have had from law-abiding Londoners who will not tolerate this behaviour in their communities.”
“We have shone a torch on London’s criminal fraternity, and this milestone sends out the clear message that offenders will be made to pay for their appalling actions.”