UPATED: Assange Granted Bail; Appeal Keeps Him In Jail For 48 More Hours
UPDATED 7:30 a.m. Dec. 14: A British court said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could go home Tuesday on about $315,000 bail, but an appeal by prosecutors means he will have to spend at least 48 hours more in jail.
He'll be on a strict curfew and have to surrender a passport if the appeal fails.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assage is back in a London court room on Tuesday requesting that he be granted bail. This is his second appearance in a week since he first surrendered to U.K. authorities and was denied his initial bail request. Assange is being represented by powerhouse lawyer Geoffrey Robinson who is resisting a demand by Swedish authorities that his client be extradited to face questioning on sex-related charges.
Assange has invoked the wrath of several world governents as his anti-secrecy group releases U.S. government diplomatic cables to selected news outlets.
The defense team for Assange has argued that the Swedish charges are a ruse and will be used to eventually extradite to him the U.S. where he might face charges under the 1917 espionage act. Several U.S. senators have called for his prosecution.
Legal observers say that the U.K. hearing on extradition for Assange could stretch on for months. They also say that even if he is granted bail he could still be held for some extended time behind bars.
The legal process against Assange opens amidst a popular backlash against his arrest. More than 600,000 signatures have been gathered demanding his release on the Avaaz website
Also a new poll by CNN reveals that almost half the British public believes that the sex charges against the WikiLeaks leader are "an excuse" to keep him custody so the U.S. can eventually prosecute him.