Tuesday, December 14, 2010

British Court Orders Leader of WikiLeaks Freed on Bail

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LONDON — After a week in detention facing possible extradition, Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks antisecrecy group, was ordered released on $310,000 bail by a court on Tuesday as he challenges a Swedish prosecutor’s demand that he return to Stockholm for questioning about alleged sex offenses.

However, it remained unclear whether Mr. Assange would be freed this evening, or whether he would be taken back to detention pending a probable appeal by the prosecutor. One of his lawyers, Mark Stephens, said he was likely to spend another night in custody.

Judge Howard Riddle ordered that Mr. Assange appear again in court on Jan. 11. He also said that between then and now he must reside at Ellingham Hall, a Georgian mansion in Bungay, in eastern England, owned by Vaughan Smith, the founder of a club for journalists. Mr. Assange must spend every night at the mansion and will be electronically tagged so the police can track his movements, the judge said.

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