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article imageJulian Assange granted bail by UK court

By Michael Cosgrove     Dec 14, 2010 in World
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been granted bail after a hearing at London's City of Westminster magistrate's court. He had been in police custody for a week in connection with an arrest warrant issued by Swedish authorities.
Bail was granted with conditions following suggestions by his lawyers to find him a permanent UK address and that he wear electronic tags and accepts curfew and travel restrictions says The Guardian.
Bail was set at 240,000 pounds, he has to report to a police station every morning at 6am, and he is under curfew from 10am to 2pm and from 10pm to 2am. He was also ordered to give up his passport.
Swedish prosecutors are said to be considering lodging an appeal against the court's decision and Assange is not expected to be released until tomorrow according to reports.
Assange had been held in London's Wandsworth jail since December 7 as a result of a Swedish arrest warrant which was issued following allegations of sexual offenses supposedly committed by him whilst in Sweden. The warrant does not include specific charges but says that he is wanted for questioning.
He denies any wrongdoing and his lawyers claim that the Swedish warrant is part of a plot to have him extradited to America in the event that charges related to his document-leaking activities are leveled at him.
Around 30 Assange supporters had waited outside the court for hours before the decision although they were heavily outnumbered by members of the press, with one Twitter user saying that the scene looked "Like Cannes waiting for the starlet." Personalities entering the court in a show of support included film directer Ken Loach, Bianca Jagger, Henry Porter, the socialite Jemima Khan and Tariq Ali, the controversial British investigative journalist.
Assange appeared in the dock wearing a dark suit and white shirt and was said to be looking rather more pale than he did last week.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of bail offers were submitted to the court by various well-known personalities during the hearing, such as Michael Moore.
The Independent has reported that Whitehall has been preparing for a possible cyber attack by supporters of Assange and WikiLeaks against government websites for reasons related to the hearing. It is not clear if the decision to grant bail to Assange will reduce the risk of attack.
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