Assange Protsters 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
LONDON— WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was scheduled to appear in a London court Tuesday seeking to fight his extradition to Sweden in a sex-crimes investigation and trying to secure bail after being held a week in a British prison cell.
The 39-year-old Australian was ordered held in prison custody by a judge at a hearing Dec. 7 after surrendering himself to Scotland Yard to answer a Swedish arrest warrant.
Assange is wanted for questioning after two women accused him of sexual
misconduct in separate encounters in Sweden over the summer. Lawyers for
Assange say he denies the allegations and will contest the attempt to
extradite him for questioning.
He will be represented in court by Geoffrey Robertson, a former appeals
judge at the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone who has specialized in
freedom of speech cases. Robertson's former clients include author
Supporters were planning to protest Assange's detention outside the
court, following a small rally on Monday outside Sweden's embassy in
Some of Assange's supporters suspect the extradition request has been
motivated by WikiLeaks' decision last month to begin publishing its
trove of about 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables, something Swedish
officials have denied.
The disclosures, which have continued unaffected since Assange was
detained in prison, have offended some US allies and angered its rivals.
Officials in Washington claim some other countries have already
curtailed their dealings with the US government as a result.
At an hour-long court hearing last week, lawyer Gemma Lindfield — acting
for Swedish police — said Assange is accused of rape, molestation and
She told the court one woman had accused Assange of pinning her down and
refusing to use a condom during an encounter on Aug. 14 in Stockholm.
That woman also accused Assange of molesting her in a way "designed to
violate her sexual integrity" several days later.
A second woman has accused Assange of having sex with her without a
condom while he was a guest at her Stockholm home and she was asleep.
In Sweden, a person who has sex with an unconscious, drunk or sleeping
person can be convicted of rape and sentenced to up to six years in