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UK court grants bail to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

LONDON (AP) — A British judge granted bail to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday, but he remained in custody pending a possible appeal.

Swedish authorities were given two hours to lodge an appeal and their lawyer, Gemma Lindfield, said it was likely she would.

The 39-year-old Australian has been held in a London prison for a week after surrendering to Scotland Yard due to a Swedish arrest warrant in a sex-crimes investigation. He denies wrongdoing and his lawyer says he plans to fight extradition.

At Tuesday’s hearing, District Judge Howard Riddle said Assange must abide by strict bail conditions. He must wear an electronic tag, live at a registered address, report to police every evening and observe two four-hour curfews each day.

A total of 240,000 pounds ($380,000) was put up as a guarantee by several supporters.

Assange’s next court appearance was set for Jan. 11.

Supporters outside City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court erupted in cheers when they heard news of the judge’s ruling.

Lindfield, acting on behalf of Swedish authorities, had asked the court to deny Assange bail because the allegations in Sweden were serious, Assange had only weak ties to Britain and he had enough money “to abscond.”

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