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Michael Moore heads Assange's bail pledge list

Michael Moore heads up a list of the great and good who have pledged their cash to see WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange released on bail.

The US documentary maker, famous for films inlcuding Bowling For Columbine, Sicko and Fahrenheit 9/11, was not available to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court today, but in a witness statement submitted yesterday, Moore offered $20,000 as a surety.

Also fronting money for Assange's release at today's hearing was restaurant designer Sarah Saunders, a personal friend of Assange, who told the court her £150,000 was "pretty much all [I'm] worth".

Thirty-nine-year-old Assange has spent the last seven days in London's Wandsworth prison after being denied bail at a hearing last week.

Amid other claims of human rights abuses, Assange's lawyers have alleged that he has not been allowed to receive any mail or had access to a computer while inside, and - perhaps most terrifyingly of all - that the only newspaper he has been allowed to read is The Daily Express.

The latest reports coming out of the courtroom on Twitter indicate that the judge may be leaning towards Assange's side in the bail hearing.

Last week, pledges of £20,000 each from journalist John Pilger, film-maker Ken Loach, socialite Jemima Khan and others failed to win over District Judge Howard Riddle, who said he believed there was a substantial risk of the WikiLeaks editor fleeing the country.

Assange offered the whistle-blowing organisation's Australian PO Box as his address in court last week.

At today's hearing, Assange's team offered the address of Henry Vaughan Lockhart Smith, video journalist and founder of the radical Frontline Club.

Assange has also offered to submit to electronic tagging and travel restrictions if bailed.

His barrister, Geoffrey Robertson QC, joked that the arrangement would amount to "mansion arrest". monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.