Image copyright EPA Image caption Mr Assange has been holed up at the embassy since 2012

Ecuador has removed extra security at its London embassy following claims that$ 5m( PS3. 7m) was expended to protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The money was used to monitor Mr Assange's guests, embassy staff and UK police, media reports in the UK and Ecuador said.

Mr Assange has been at the embassy since 2012 after being granted asylum.

He fled there to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, which he denies.

The Swedish authorities have since fell their investigation, but Britain is still trying his arrest for breaching bail conditions.

Mr Assange, 46, believes he will be extradited to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the building.

He set up Wikileaks, which publishes confidential documents and images, in 2006 – inducing headlines around the world in April 2010 when it released footage indicating US soldiers shooting dead 18 civilians from a helicopter in Iraq.

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