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Assange to appear in court over sex-crime case

Dec 14, 2010 3:42:00 AM - thestate.com
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was scheduled to appear in a London court Tuesday seeking to fight his extradition to Sweden in a sex-crimes investigation and trying to secure bail after being held a week in a British prison cell.

The 39-year-old Australian was ordered held in prison custody by a judge at a hearing Dec. 7 after surrendering himself to Scotland Yard to answer a Swedish arrest warrant.

Assange is wanted for questioning after two women accused him of sexual misconduct in separate encounters in Sweden over the summer. Lawyers for Assange say he denies the allegations and will contest the attempt to extradite him for questioning.

He will be represented in court by Geoffrey Robertson, a former appeals judge at the U.N. Special Court for Sierra Leone who has specialized in freedom of speech cases. Robertson's former clients include author Salman Rushdie.

Supporters were planning to protest Assange's detention outside the court, following a small rally on Monday outside Sweden's embassy in London.