ASSANGE GRANTED BAIL
Court leaks WikiLeaker
WikiLeaks supremo Julian Assange was granted bail on appeal by a London court this afternoon.
After six days in jail he will be released with conditions, including a £240,000 surety. The next hearing in Sweden's attempt to extradite him in relation to alleged sex crimes against two women was scheduled for 11 January.
However, Swedish prosecutors could lodge an appeal against the decision, and if they do Assange will not be released until it has been heard.
Lawyers for the 39-year-old Australian said he would wear an electronic tag, abide by a curfew and surrender his passport. He must report to a police station in Suffolk every day at 6pm.
He'll be staying at a country "mansion" (a description offered by his QC Geoffrey Robertson) belonging to Vaughan Smith.
The wealthy war reporter, a founder of the Frontline Club in Paddington, where Assange has stayed in the past, also offered the surety. The courtroom was further populated by a bizarre circus of celebrities also hoping to act as guarantors in his release, including Bianca Jagger, Jemima Khan and Ken Loach.
Sweden's ongoing attempt to extradite Assange is not his only legal problem. His lawyer Mark Stephens said in an interview with David Frost over the weekend that a grand jury in Virginia has been secretly considering indicting Assange under the US Espionage Act.
Stephens also claimed that Sweden will defer its molestation and rape investigation if the US brings such spying charges. ®
The judge allowed reporters to tweet live from the courtroom, an apparent first for the British justice system. Perhaps that's a more substantial move towards greater official openness than marked by Assange's publication of the US embassy cables.
It's Sweden I'm dissapointed in.
We all know the UK is two-bit dictatorship which adores bending over and being the US's bitch -- but I had hoped that other countries in Europe weren't so corrupt and pathetic.
Sweden charges Assange while he is in Sweden
Sweden drops charges
Sweden reinstates charges when he is in UK
Assange arrested and held on those charges in UK
US indicates they want Assange on spy charges. Luckily he is already in custody in a friendly country that has an extradition treaty with US.
Sweden says we really don't want him if the Yanks want him that bad.
Assange gets flown over the pond by friendly FBI agents.
Sweden gets a really favourable financial payoff from the US Government.
OK, the last two have not happened yet, but is there any doubt in anyone's mind that it won't???
Next in the dock
Alan Rushbridger, Editor of The Guardian
Simon Kelner, Editor of The Independent
Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC
Wait, they're not being indicted? I could have sworn I was reading the cables on the Guardian's website, and watching news broadcasts regarding the contents of them on BBC Breakfast.