News / USA

WikiLeaks' Assange Freed on Bail in UK

Julian Assange
Julian Assange

WikiLeaks  founder Julian Assange walked free from the high court in London Thursday and vowed to continue releasing classified documents.

A British judge released Assange on bail, after rejecting an appeal of the release from prosecutors in Sweden, where he is wanted on rape allegations.

Assange said in a brief statement on the court steps that he will continue his work and protest his innocence in the case.

Judge Duncan Ouseley agreed to release Assange on conditions which include a bail of $315,000, plus two sureties equaling about $62,500.  He also must wear an electronic monitoring tag, check in with police daily and stay at the home of former British army officer and WikiLeaks  supporter, Vaughan Smith.

The legal head of the Swedish prosecutor's office, Nils Rekke, told the BBC that he has no reaction to the British court's decision and that Sweden is not interfering in the proceedings.

Assange has been held in Wandsworth prison in London since December 7, when he surrendered to authorities.

One of Assange's lawyers, Mark Stephens, said as he entered court Thursday that the bail money had been raised by Wikileaks   supporters.

Stephens complained about the conditions in which Assange was held, describing them as antiquated. Media reports said Assange was held in solitary confinement.

An extradition hearing will be held early next year. Assange is accused of sexual misconduct with two female WikiLeaks  volunteers in Sweden in August.  He denies the allegations. The WikiLeaks  founder and his lawyers claim the charges are politically motivated.

TheWikiLeaks  website has released hundreds of classified documents since the website was launched in 2006.  The latest batch include nearly 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables.

The website has continued to distribute the classified U.S. cables while Assange is in jail, and his online supporters have launched attacks against those they see as persecuting him.

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