Assange Granted Bail


A British court has granted bail to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, potentially releasing him until his next court appearance Jan. 11.

Reuters, the Guardian and others are reporting that Assange was granted bail after several wealthy supporters, including restaurant designer Sarah Saunders and filmmaker Michael Moore, promised to put up the money.

Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault charges.Reporters at the hearing said his lawyer asked for a bail of around $300,000, the amount his supporters had promised to put up. His lawyer also said Assange would agree to several restrictions, including a curfew and electronic monitoring tag.

According to reporters tweeting from the courtroom, Assange’s bail was set at 200,000 pounds, or about $315,000. He will be restricted by a curfew, tag, and will have to surrender his passport. He will reportedly stay at the manor home of Vaughn Smith, the director of the Frontline Club, and must report to the police station daily.

Assange has maintained his innocence in the face of the charges, accusing the U.S. government of pressuring Sweden to go after him in retribution for the information he has publicized via Wikileaks.

Assange won’t be released immediately, but must reportedly stay in jail as Swedish prosecutors decide whether to appeal the ruling, which the AP is reporting is likely.

This breaking news post has been updated since it was first published.

Late update: The BBC, ABC News and others are reporting that Sweden will not appeal the decision. That means Assange will be able to go free once his lawyer gathers the 200,000-pound cash bail, likely in the next few days.

Late late update: News outlets are now reporting that prosecutors will appeal the ruling. Assange will be held in jail for another 48 hours until the appeal is heard, according to Reuters.