Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

WikiLeaks founder vows to fight on

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has vowed to fight attempts to extradite him to Sweden (AP)
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is driven into Westminster Magistrates Court in London after being arrested
Media outside Westminster Magistrates' Court in London ahead of the appearance of Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been refused bail but vowed to fight attempts to extradite him to Sweden.

The 39-year-old Australian was remanded in custody after appearing before a judge over claims that he sexually assaulted two women.

The former computer hacker turned himself in to Scotland Yard detectives after a two-week guessing game over his location.

His legal team said they will make a second bid to regain his freedom when he appears in court again next Tuesday.

They claimed Swedish prosecutors have been put under political pressure to restart their inquiry to help silence and discredit Assange.

The decision to remand him in custody came despite the offer of a £180,000 surety from backers including John Pilger, Jemima Khan and Ken Loach.

Supporters said the move would not hinder the steady stream of United States diplomatic cables published on the WikiLeaks website.

The latest documents included details of a Nato defence plan for Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

But the organisation suffered fresh blows to its finances as global payment giants Visa and MasterCard said they would no longer service it.

WikiLeaks has already been forced to change domains, its servers and lost the use of PayPal as a series of companies severed ties.

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