Sweden challenges Julian Assange bail decision

Swedish prosecutors are to appeal against a British judge’s decision to grant bail to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was arrested on Swedish allegations of sex crimes.

Swedish prosecutors are to appeal against a British judge’s decision to grant bail to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was arrested in Britain on Swedish allegations of sex crimes.

Prosecution lawyer Gemma Lindfield announced the decision at a court hearing in London this afternoon.

Judge Howard Riddle, who had earlier granted Mr Assange bail under stringent conditions, said Mr Assange must remain in custody until the appeal is heard within 48 hours.

The 39-year-old Australian was accused this year of sexual misconduct by two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers during a stay in Sweden.

Mr Assange denies the allegations and is fighting Swedish attempts to extradite him.

His whistle-blowing website has provoked US fury by publishing classified US diplomatic papers.

Speaking outside the court, solicitor Mark Stephens said: ‘Finally, after two hours we have heard that the Swedes will not abide with the umpire’s decision and they want to put Mr Assange through yet more trouble, more expense and more hurdles.

‘They clearly will not spare any expense to keep Mr Assange in jail. This is really turning into a show trial.

‘We will be in court again in the next 48 hours. But they have not given us the courtesy of telling us when we will be in court.’

Asked how Assange reacted to the news, Mr Stephens added: ‘He is phlegmatic.’

Elsewhere, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has said all of the information revealed by the WikiLeaks website refers to member states and not the commission, and that it is up to them to issue clarifications.

WikiLeaks had released information claiming to show the involvement of some EU member states in the ‘extraordinary rendition’ of suspects by the US.

Mr Barroso said the commission had done all it can to provide accurate information to the citizens of Europe.

He also rejected the assertion that the commission had been involved in the violation of fundamental rights, insisting they had a clean record in the matter.

Source:  http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/1214/wikileaks.html

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