Thursday, December 16, 2010

Julian Assange is granted bail

London, December 16: The founder of whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, Julian Assange has been granted conditional bail by a judge in London.

The 39-year-old Australian was granted bail in London earlier this week but prosecutors objected to the decision and he remained in jail for a few more days.

Julian Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden over sex charges involving two women. He denies the allegations.

His supporters have offered to put up a surety of £240,000 to guarantee he surrenders to bail.

The ruling was made just before 1300 GMT but it is understood it may take up an hour to process his release from the cell at the Royal Court of Justice.

Mr Assange has received the backing of a number of high-profile supporters including human rights campaigners Jemima Khan and Bianca Jagger, and film director Ken Loach.

Wikileaks has published hundreds of sensitive American diplomatic cables, details of which have appeared in the Guardian in the UK and several other newspapers around the world.

He has come under criticism in the US where former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has said he should be hunted down like the al-Qaeda leadership.

Mr Assange argues the allegations against him are politically motivated and designed to take attention away from the material appearing on Wikileaks.

He is accused of having unprotected sex with a woman, identified only as Miss A, when she insisted he use a condom.

He is also accused of having unprotected sex with another woman, Miss W, while she was asleep.

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