Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

WikiLeaks founder in fresh bail bid

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to make a fresh appeal to be granted bail when he returns to court.

The 39-year-old Australian was remanded in custody last week as he vowed to fight attempts to extradite him to Sweden for alleged sex offences.

He is due to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court for a second hearing. If Assange is denied bail a second time he is expected to appeal at the High Court.

The former hacker, who is accused of sexually assaulting two women in Sweden, turned himself in to Scotland Yard detectives last week.

His legal team has 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.

The accusations against him include rape and molestation in one case and molestation and unlawful coercion in a second. Assange has denied the allegations, which he has claimed stem from a dispute over "consensual but unprotected sex".

District Judge Howard Riddle refused bail on the grounds there was a risk Assange would fail to surrender.

Meanwhile, Assange has not been handed any of his mail since he was jailed, with even his legal letters failing to reach him, his lawyer has said.

A prison source said Assange was being treated like any other inmate held in the segregation unit, which is where he had requested to be.

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph