Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks whistleblower website, was granted bail by the U.K. judge overseeing his extradition fight with Sweden over allegations of rape and molestation.
Assange, 39, won his temporary freedom today after his lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, gave Judge Howard Riddle a temporary address where Assange will stay and agreed to post a guarantee of 200,000 pounds ($315,280). Assange has denied the claims and said he will fight the extradition.
Assange, who was initially denied bail last week, turned himself in to U.K. authorities after Swedish police issued a warrant on one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape allegedly committed in August, police said. Prosecutors said the allegations involved claims about the use of a condom.
“We doubt whether this actual category of rape would be rape under English law,” Robertson said. “Swedish rape laws are very different from U.K. ones.”
Gemma Lindfield, a lawyer for the U.K. government, urged Riddle today to deny bail, saying that “nothing has changed in the last week.” She also said the case “isn’t about WikiLeaks, which drew condemnation for posting classified documents on its website, including U.S. embassy communications.
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