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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gets bail and declares: the leaks will continue

By Mark Hughes and Cahal Milmo

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pledged last night to continue publishing highly sensitive US diplomatic cables after he was freed from prison by a judge.

The founder of the WikiLeaks website was granted bail yesterday after the High Court threw out an appeal by prosecutors.

The Australian journalist (39), who is wanted in Sweden for alleged sex offences, had spent nine days in Wandsworth prison since he was held under a European arrest warrant issued by the Swedes.

Mr Assange smiled and gave a thumbs-up as he left the dock. He was bailed to reside at a Norfolk mansion owned by Captain Vaughan Smith, the proprietor of the Frontline Club.

After effectively being placed under house arrest, Mr Assange appeared on the court steps and said he would carry on releasing sensitive State Department communiqués which have caused global embarrassment to the American government.

He told a crowd of journalists and supporters: “I hope to continue my work and continue to protest my innocence in this matter and to reveal as we get it, which we have not yet, the evidence from these allegations.”

Mr Assange was arrested last Tuesday on sexual assault allegations. The case centres on his relationships with two women while he was visiting Stockholm last August. He is accused of raping and molesting one woman and molesting and unlawfully coercing another. He faces up to four years in jail if extradited and convicted in Sweden.

His supporters claim the criminal inquiry and extradition request is unfair and politically motivated. Mr Assange was initially refused bail at a first extradition hearing last week but this was overturned on Tuesday.

Swedish prosecutors unsuccessfully appealed against that decision yesterday. The judge rejected claims that Mr Assange posed such a risk of absconding that it was impossible to bail him.

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