WikiLeaks head bailed, but spends another night in solitary confinement

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was granted bail on a £200,000 cash surety yesterday at the end of a hearing in which high-profile figures queued to offer financial guarantees for his freedom and protesters outside the central London court building howled their anger against his "grotesque" detention.

But last night the 39-year-old Australian remained in solitary confinement in Wandsworth Prison after prosecutors appearing on behalf of the authorities in Sweden, where Mr Assange is wanted on sex allegations, decided to appeal against the ruling. A hearing in the High Court in London is likely to take place in the next 48 hours.

Campaigners accused the Swedish authorities of bringing a politically motivated case, following the release of more than 250,000 American diplomatic cables on WikiLeaks and called for the claims that he sexually assaulted two women to be dropped.

Mr Assange, who according to his British lawyers is already under investigation by a secretly empanelled grand jury in America charged with establishing whether he can be prosecuted over the leaked telegrams, was remanded in custody a week ago after a magistrate accepted arguments that he might flee the country if released. During hectic proceedings, which saw Westminster magistrates' court surrounded by several hundred placard-waving protesters, District Judge Howard Riddle conceded that concerns about Mr Assange's residency had been resolved, before imposing stringent conditions on his release, including a demand that he surrender his passport and wear an electronic tag while living on the 600-acre Suffolk estate of one of his key supporters, Vaughan Smith.

In addition, Mr Assange, who denies the Swedish allegations, and his supporters were ordered to provide £200,000 in cash along with £40,000 to be pledged as security.

Mark Stephens, the solicitor representing Mr Assange, said his client was being held in "Orwellian" conditions in the south London prison, with only 30 minutes a day of free movement, and rigorous censorship of his mail and communications. Infrared photography was also being used to monitor his cell 24 hours a day.

He said: "Julian has absolutely no access to any electronic equipment, no access to the outside world, no access to outside media. Until the court is in possession of £200,000 in cash, an innocent man stays in jail. It is pretty uncomfortable for him at the moment."

Mr Assange's status as a global cause célèbre was underlined by the succession of prominent figures who made their way to court to pledge their support, both moral and financial, for him. Among those attending with offers to contribute to the bail payment were socialite Jemima Khan, author Hanif Kureishi and journalist John Pilger. Pledges of cash were also received from sources as diverse as American film director Michael Moore and the Marchioness of Worcester.

Mr Assange had kept out of the public eye and frequently changed his location after it became clear earlier this year that WikiLeaks was in possession of a vast quantity of US government material. The court heard that he was accused by Swedish prosecutors of having unprotected sex in August this year with a woman, Miss A, when she had insisted he use a condom. In a separate incident, he is alleged to have had unprotected sex with another woman, Miss W, while she was asleep.

Geoffrey Robertson QC, the human rights lawyer representing Mr Assange, told the court that the case had been thrown out by a senior prosecutor in Stockholm, who found the allegations did not amount to rape, only for the investigation to be reinstated in a different city following representations by a Swedish MP.

Mr Robertson said it was unclear whether the allegations against Mr Assange amounted to rape or an extraditable offence under British law. Gemma Lindfield, appearing for the Swedish authorities, said Mr Assange should be denied bail because he had sufficient resources to abscond.

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits