WikiLeaks' Assange Granted Bail


WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was granted bail by a London court Thursday, meaning he is free to leave jail until his next scheduled court hearing in January.

He must stay at the mansion of a supporter outside London, report to the police daily, wear an electronic tag to monitor his location, and put up 200,000 pounds (about $310,000) in bail money, plus two further 20,000-pound sureties (about $31,500 each), the judge ruled.

Judge Duncan Ouseley said he did not regard Assange as a fugitive and there was no concrete evidence to believe he'd abscond.

Assange "clearly has some desire to clear his name," the judge said, adding that if he failed to appear in court, the "charges would always be hanging over his head."

Assange has the potential to flee, Ouseley found, but said if he did so, it would "diminish him in the eyes of his supporters."

Cheers of "Julian, Julian, Julian, out, out out!" and "Exposing war crimes is no crime!" went up from his supporters outside the High Court after the decision was announced.

Assange, 39, handed himself over to police in London last week. He was sought because Swedish prosecutors want to question him about sex charges unrelated to WikiLeaks.

A judge granted him bail on Tuesday, but Sweden immediately filed an appeal, keeping Assange behind bars until the High Court judge decided on the Swedish appeal.