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Assange released on bail, promises to continue WikiLeaks work

RIA Novosti

22:00 16/12/2010 LONDON, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was released on bail at on Thursday, and vowed that he would continue his work.

Assange, whose WikiLeaks website has provoked U.S. rage by releasing diplomatic documents, was to be freed on $320,000 bail on Tuesday but remained in jail pending an appeal against the London City of Westminster Magistrates' Court ruling. London's High Court rejected the appeal on Thursday.

"I hope to continue my work and continue to protest my innocence in this matter and to reveal as we get it, which we have not yet, the evidence from these allegations," Assange said.

"If justice is not always an outcome, at least it is not dead yet," he added.

"WikiLeaks would like to thank all those who put up the bail money for Julian to be freed on bail, and to the supporters of WikiLeaks and free speech," the service said on its Facebook page.

The appeal was filled by the Britain's Crown Prosecution Service on behalf of the Swedish side as Sweden had no right to do so within the U.K.

Under the bail conditions Assange must wear an electronic tag, report to police every day and observe a curfew. He is also obliged to stay at the Norfolk mansion of WikiLeaks supporter Vaughan Smith.

The United States could soon press espionage charges against Assange for authorizing the disclosure of secret U.S. diplomatic and military reports, his lawyer said last week.

World leaders and diplomats have downplayed the impact of the leak of more than 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables by the WikiLeaks site, but many have questioned the benefit of the project, alleging that some of the leaks could "threaten lives."

Assange was arrested in London on December 7. His extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on sex assault charges, is pending. Assange denies the allegations and is fighting the extradition, while his lawyers express fears that he could be then extradited to the United States, where Assange could face the death penalty for violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.

An unidentified Kremlin official told RIA Novosti that Assange should be nominated for the Nobel Prize.

He topped an online poll for Time's Person of the Year, but the magazine on Wednesday named Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for its annual award, which was won by Vladimir Putin in 2007.

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