Assange back in court in UK; says 'ready to fight' extradition | world | Hindustan Times
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Assange back in court in UK; says 'ready to fight' extradition

world Updated: Jan 11, 2011 18:49 IST

PTI
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, wanted in Sweden over claims he sexually assaulted two women, appeared in a court in London on Tuesday and expressed his readiness to fight extradition from the UK.

The defence team of the 39-year-old Australian, who denies the charges, was ready for a two-day extradition case, which was set for February 7 and 8 during a hearing at a court in London, his lawyer Geoffrey Robertson said.

District Judge Nicholas Evans, who oversaw a 10-minute hearing at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court, adjourned the case until February.

Outside the court, Assange, who was wearing a dark suit and a navy blue tie, said: "We are happy with today's outcome."

In court, the founder of the whistle-blower website spoke only to confirm his name, age and address, the BBC reported.

But outside court, he said, "Our work with WikiLeaks continues unabated. We are stepping up publishing for Cablegate and other materials. They will be shortly appearing with the help of our newspaper partners."

Assange has been staying at a manor home on the Norfolk-Suffolk border owned by the Frontline Club's owner, Vaughan Smith, but Robertson argued that it was difficult for him to reach court in time from that address.

The bail conditions were varied to enable Assange to stay at the Frontline Club, in Paddington, on February 6 and 7.

Assange was released on bail by a High Court judge just before Christmas after spending nine days in Wandsworth prison.

The sex crime allegations against Assange stem from his encounters with two women during a trip to Sweden in 2010, at the same time when his website was drawing global attention with its massive leaks of classified US diplomatic cables.