JUST IN: The High Court in London granted bail on Thursday to Julian Assange, the founder of the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks, while he fights extradition to Sweden on a warrant connected with alleged sex offenses.
About $370 thousand. That’s how much money was posted by a group of supporters for WikiLeaks’s founder Julian Assange’s release in London. City of Westminster Magistrates Court Judge Howard Riddle ordered him to come back to court on Jan. 11 and, until then, to reside at Ellingham Hall, a Georgian mansion in Bungay, eastern England.
He must spend every night there, wear electronic tags and stay under curfew from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. He’s also to report daily to the police from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Additionally, while waiting for a possible extradition to Sweden for questioning on the rape allegations case moved against him by two women, his passport will be held and he’s not permitted to travel abroad. The Swedish government said it would appeal against Assange’s release, but one of this lawyers said he probably would not be released until Wednesday morning.
Despite technically unrelated to the charges of sexual assault, by which Assange’s faces possible jail time in Sweden, most observers believe his legal woes have at least some bearing in the turmoil caused by WikiLeaks’s release of secret documents, the latest trove of them being some 250,000 classified diplomatic cables between the U.S. State Department and American missions abroad.
Despite risking sensitive negotiations and compromising U.S. interests abroad, the documents betray a culture of unnecessary secrecy that surrounds every aspect of the invasion of Iraq and conflict in Afghanistan, the poor state of diplomatic relations with key allies and deplorable mismanagement of resources for the war efforts.
Given the unacceptably high death toll they continue to cause and stratospheric financial costs involved, besides the apparently lack of any clear objectives to be achieved, the leaked documents may represent one of the few true windows of what’s actually going on on the ground, and a powerful tool to inform and educate the American people.
– “My convictions are unfaltering. I remain true to the ideals I have always expressed. These circumstances shall not shake them. If anything, this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct.”