The WikiLeaks founder has been denied bail on the grounds that his ties to the community are weak and he has the means to flee the U.K. Assange, who was arrested Monday by appointment in London, is wanted for questioning in Sweden related to sexual assault allegations that he categorically denies.
Correction: Assange has not yet been charged in Sweden. An earlier version of this item suggested otherwise. The case is actually quite complicated. Those interested in greater detail should read this Reuters article on the subject.
The 39-year-old Australian, who denies the allegations, was driven away in a white prison van after an extraordinary one-hour hearing at City of Westminster magistrates court. The district judge, Howard Riddle, ruled there was a risk Assange would fail to surrender if granted bail.
Despite Jemima Khan, former wife of Pakistan cricketer Imran Khan, the campaigning journalist John Pilger, the British film director Ken Loach and others offering to stand surety totalling £180,000, the judge said Assange’s “weak community ties” in the UK, and his “means and ability” to abscond, were “substantial grounds” for refusing bail.