Wikileaks' Julian Assange appears in court as Anonymous hackers protest

The controversy-dogged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared in court in London today, as he fights extradition to Sweden.

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange today appeared for a short hearing in Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court, as hackers from the group Anonymous prepared to protest in his favour.

At the 10-minute extradition hearing, the judge adjourned his case until next month. Assange is wanted by Swedish authorities over several alleged sexual offences, which he claims are politically motivated following Wikileaks’ release of sensitive cables from US diplomats.

Following the hearing, Assange’s lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC said the defence was ready to fight his extradition, at the next hearing on 7 and 8 February, the BBC reported.

The news comes as Anonymous said it would hold protest gatherings around the world, on 15 January, in support of Assange. “Join us on January 15th for the first in a series of global protests in defense of WikiLeaks and freedom of expression,” it said. “Stand with us to defend your freedoms.”

Outside court today, Assange insisted that Wikileaks’ work would continue “unabated”, with more cables due to be released.

Assange’s lawyers have posted an outline of his defence on their website. They claim that extradition could breach the European Convention of Human Rights, by potentially leading to his extradition to the US where he could face the “death penalty”.

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