Julian Assange to remain in jail despite bail

Mark Stephens, lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaks outside the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Tuesday. Mr. Assange was granted bail but he will remain in custody for at least another 48 hours after Swedish prosecutors said they would challenge the decision.   | Photo Credit: Lewis Whyld

In an unexpected twist that his lawyer described as having elements of a "show trial", WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was on Tuesday sent back to jail despite being granted bail by a court here earlier in the day after the Swedish authorities, seeking his extradition to Sweden to face charges of sexual offences, decided to appeal.

The appeal, to be lodged at the High Court, could take up to 48 hours to be heard.

Mr. Assange’s lawyer Mark Stephens accused Swedish prosecutors of "sparing no expense to keep in jail" saying the case was turning into a "show trial".

"This is really turning into a show trial…but given the history of persecution of Mr. Assange it is perhaps not surprising," he said.

Asked about Mr. Assange’s reaction, he said: "He is phlegmatic".

Earlier, Mr. Assange was given bail on cash guarantees of £240,000. A group of his high-profile supporters, including film-maker Ken Loach, activist Bianca Jagger, journalist John Pilger and Jemima Khan, wife of former Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan, reportedly offered to put up security for him.

Other bail conditions required him to surrender his passport, wear an electronic tag to monitor his movements and report to a local police station every evening.

Even if the prosecution had decided not to appeal, Mr. Assange was unlikely to have been released immediately as the court required him to deposit £200,000 in cash before he could be set free. His legal team said that it would take "days" to raise the money.

Mr. Assange’s mother, Christine, who flew in from Australia was present in the court.

A large number of his supporters gathered outside Westminster Magistrates Court burst into cheers as the verdict was delivered but protested as the news spread that he would not be released. Earlier, in a statement from his jail cell, Mr. Assange said his convictions were "unfaltering" and he remained true to his "ideals".

"This circumstance shall not shake them. If anything this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct. We now know that Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and others are instruments of US foreign policy. It's not something we knew before. I am calling for the world to protect my work and my people from these illegal and immoral attacks," he said.

Mr. Assange was arrested last week after he surrendered himself to the police following the warrant. He was refused bail on grounds that in the absence of a permanent address in Britain there were fears that he could "flee".


The International Page report, “British court grants Julian Assange bail” (December 15, 2010), referred to Jemima Khan as the wife of the former Pakistani cricketer, Imran Khan. It is wrong. Jemima and Imran Khan divorced years ago.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 1:12:53 PM |

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