British Judge Grants Julian Assange’s Bail For $317,400 While Sweden Is Appealing To Keep Him In Jail

Posted Dec 14, 2010

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks is being granted a bail for $317,400. Assange is wanted in Sweden for sex crimes. Swedish authority prosecutors are planning to appeal the bail decision that Judge Howard Riddle had granted.

Assange is to remain in custody until a new hearing is held within the next 48 hours. Assange will be free from jail pending a hearing on January 11th under strict conditions such as a curfew and electronic tagging. Assange is fighting attempts to be extradited into Sweden to face questioning about sexual misconduct that he had with two female WikiLeaks volunteers.

“This is really turning into a show trial,” said Mark Stephens, Assange’s lawyer. Stephens fears that U.S. prosecutors may be preparing to have him indicted for espionage related to documents leaked on WikiLeaks. Assange’s bail money is being supplied by several key figures such as U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore, Australian journalist John Pilger, and the former wife of a Pakistani cricket player Jemima Khan.

Assange’s defense lawyer Geoffrey Robertson also said that the rape allegation against Assange is under the least serious of 3 categories that are outlined in Swedish law. “In this country the word rape rings all sorts of alarm bells. When we look at the Swedish system…it is very, very different. We doubt this category would be rape under English law,” said Robertson.

[Reuters]