WikiLeaks founder held in custody

WikiLeaks founder held in custody

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been remanded in custody

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been remanded in custody after appearing in court on an extradition warrant.

The 39-year-old Australian is wanted by prosecutors in Sweden over claims he sexually assaulted two women.

District Judge Howard Riddle refused bail on the grounds there is a risk he would fail to surrender.

Gemma Lindfield, for the Swedish authorities, told the court Assange is wanted in connection with four allegations.

She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of “unlawful coercion” on the night of August 14 in Stockholm. The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

The second charge alleged Assange “sexually molested” Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her “express wish” one should be used.

The third charge claimed Assange “deliberately molested” Miss A on August 18 “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”.

The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on August 17 without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.

Assange was ordered to appear again before City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on December 14.

Jemima Khan, the sister of Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, film director Ken Loach and veteran journalist John Pilger all offered to stand as surety for Assange. The court heard they were prepared to stake their reputation by offering sureties with a total value of £180,000.

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