Conflict & Justice

Wikileaks founder remains in custody

A small but hardy band of protestors lined up outside the courthouse, shouting their support for a man they now deem a politicial prisoner. But it is allegations of sexual crimes that have landed Julian Assange behind bars for the last week. Top-flight human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson interrupted his holiday to successfully argue for his client's release.

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�Julian Assange is an innocent man until proven otherwise and the so called evidence, certainly the evidence I've seen is frankly ridiculous and there's no reason for this man to be in prison there's no reason for this man to be in the court and at least today we've had a glimpse of British justice,� says Robertson.

But British justice isn't moving all that quickly. Late today, Swedish prosecutors told the court they plan to appeal the ruling to a higher court. Another one of Assange's lawyers, Mark Stephens says that means he'll spend at least another 48 hours in jail.

�And they want to put Mr Assange through yet more trouble, yet more expense, more hurdles. they clearly will not spare any expense, but to keep Mr Assange in jail. This is really turning into a show trial�.

Show trial or not, today there was certainly some star power inside the courtroom. Human rights campaigner, Bianca Jagger says she's concerned the criminal case against Assange is being politicized: �I do not agree with everything he has done. However, I think that the most important thing in our system of law is justice, due process and freedom of expression.�

The Swedish authorities deny their judicial pursuit of Assange has anything to do with the controversy surrounding Wikileaks. And they say they're still concerned he's a flight risk. That's in spite of the fact that the judge imposed strict bail conditions, including reporting daily to police, observing a curfew and staying at the home of a friend � journalist Vaughan Smith.

�I let him stay there because i believe in supporting the underdog. I think he's a friend of mine. I trust him. I don't think he will break his bail, I'm sure of that,� he says.

Even if Assange wins the appeal in two days time, there's still another significant hurdle. Officials say he won't be released until he deposits the equivalent of $ 315,000 with the court � $ 315,000 cash since the court doesn't take credit cards.