WikiLeaks’ Assange Due In Court Over Swedish Extradition

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due to appear in court later today to continue his fight against extradition to Sweden.

Assange is wanted by Swedish prosecutors for questioning over alleged sex offences against two women, accusations he strenuously denies. After spending nine days in Wandsworth prison, he was released on £240,000 bail last month and is staying at the mansion of Frontline Club founder and supporter Vaughan Smith on the Norfolk-Suffolk border.

He has been forced to surrender his passport, wear an electronic tag and report to police daily.

Supporters claim that the accusations are politically motivated, and in retaliation for the leak of around 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables.

The hearing is set to be overseen by District Judge Nicholas Evans at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court, sitting at Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London, and will decide how the full hearing will be run.

"The hearing Tuesday is to ensure that the real issues in the case are identified and that preparation of the case is progressing in a timely fashion," said a spokesman for Britain's courts service told Reuters.

His full two-day extradition hearing is expected to begin on 7 February.