Published on 14 Dec 2010 Sections

Protests expected outside court for WikiLeaks Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will ask to be granted bail when he appears before City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a second time today.


More protests expected outside court today (Getty images)

The former computer hacker was remanded in custody last week, despite the offer of surety from a number of high-profile backers, including journalist John Pilger, director Ken Loach, and charity fundraiser Jemima Khan.

If Julian Assange is denied bail, he is expected to appeal at the High Court.

The Australian, 39, turned himself into police after an international warrant was issued accusing him of sex offences in Sweden. Charges are thought to include rape and molestation in one case, and molestation and unlawful coercion in a second. Assange has denied the allegations, which he has claimed stem from a dispute over “consensual but unprotected sex.” He has vowed to fight extradition to Sweden.

His mother is in London, and said Assange stands by the release of confidential cables.

Find out more about the secretive world of Julian Assange here

She said she is determined to support him, and urged others to do the same: “As a mother I am asking the world to stand up for my brave son,” she told Australia’s Network Seven.

According to Australian media reports, supporters of Assange and WikiLeaks are expected to protest outside the court.

Yesterday, around 15 supporters of the ‘Justice for Assange’ campaign gathered outside the Swedish Embassy in central London. They held banners saying “political prisoner” and “gagging the truth” and wore masks of Assange’s face.

Since 7/7, HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] has invested considerable time and resources in engaging the British Muslim community. The current tensions demonstrate just how little progress has been made.” Latest cable leaked by Wikileaks

His court appearance comes as another cable released through the WikiLeaks site reveals the United States was concerned that the UK was struggling to cope with home-grown extremists in the year after the 7th July bombings in London.

In the cable, a diplomat noted that Tony Blair‘s embarked on a drive to isolate radicals from the mainstream Muslim community after the 2005 attacks.

The message from the US Embassy states: “Since 7/7, HMG [Her Majesty’s Government] has invested considerable time and resources in engaging the British Muslim community. The current tensions demonstrate just how little progress has been made.”

Another cable suggests British police helped ‘develop’ evidence against Madeleine McCann’s parents as they were investigated by Portuguese authorities investigating the disappearance of their daughter.