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Assange denied bail by London court

A London court today refused to grant bail to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

The 39-year-old faces extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on charges of rape and sexual molestation.

Assange maintains his innocence of the charges, and has claimed that they form part of a wider campaign to discredit the work of WikiLeaks, which last week published more than 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables.

He was arrested by police at 9:30 GMT today, and appeared before Westminster magistrates at around 13:30.

District Judge Howard Riddle denied bail on the grounds that he felt there was a substantial risk Assange would flee the country - in spite of a number of high-profile figures coming forward to offer sureties. These included socialite fellow Australian and journalist John Pilger, socialite Jemima Khan, and film-maker Ken Loach.

Assange was remanded in custody until 14th December, when the extradition proceedings will resume.