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Assange allowed out on bail

Update: It seems the Swedish authorities are appealing against the decision to grant Assange bail, which means that he'll spend at least the next 48 hours in a cell until the appeal is heard.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Assange's lawyer said: "This is really turning into a show trial. We will be in court in the next 48 hours, they haven't given us the courtesy to say when. It is an unfortunate state of affairs... but given their history of persecuting of Mr Assange, it is perhaps not surprising."

Julian Assange has been allowed out on bail. Should he disappear between now and his next scheduled court appearance on January 11th, a few rich people will be a bit poorer.

The 39-year old WikiLeaks founder appeared before Westminster magistrates in London today to begin his fight against extradition to Sweden where he faces allegations of sexual impropriety.

Assange was back in court to appeal against a decision last week by District Judge Howard Riddle to deny him bail. He was represented by a legal team including renowned barristers Geoffrey Robertson and Helena Kennedy.

The Australian has spent a week in HM Prison Wandsworth, since his last hearing on 7th December, and has been in solitary confinement since Thursday supposedly for his own protection.

Film maker Michael Moore, always mindful of a bit of publicity, joined the list of semi-celebrities offering to post surety for Assange should he do a bunk.

Moore offered a measly $20,000 as surety. Even John Pilger managed more than that last week. A restaurant designer called Sarah Saunders, who claims to be a personal friend of Assange, offered up £150,000, which, she said, was "pretty much all [I'm] worth".

Bail was granted on the provision of £240,000 in security as well as surety from two people, along with a 10pm curfew and the surrender of his passport. Assnage is also obliged to report in daily to the police.

In court, Assange's team offered a UK address in the form of the pad of Henry Vaughan Lockhart Smith a video journalist and founder of the Frontline Club.

Assange has also offered to submit to electronic tagging and travel restrictions

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