Wikileaks’ Assange Freed
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been freed on bail from a London prison. He was released on a payment of 240,000 pounds ($374,520) and must wear an electronic tag, report to police every day, observe a curfew and reside at a home of a prominent journalist in East Anglia. Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for sexual crimes against two women. He maintains his innocence.
“It’s great to feel the fresh air of London again,” Assange declared upon his release after being locked up for over a week. He thanked “all the people around the world who had faith” in him and his lawyers for their successful fight to free him from jail. He also thanked the press and the British justice system. Prosecutors tried to block his release, claiming he was a flight risk. But Assange turned himself in, not exactly the behavior of someone looking to flee.
Assange claims the Swedish charges against him are politically motivated and designed to deflect attention to the sensitive material contained in the Wikileaks releases. A full extradition hearing should take place sometime this month, although in such a high profile case it’s possible the hearing could be delayed.