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WIKILEAKS WILL GO ON AFTER GURU ARRESTED; Assange refused bail in case he flees country.

Byline: Torcuil Crichton

WIKILEAKS have vowed to continue publishing secret US government documents, despite their founder being arrested.

Julian Assange appeared in court in London on sex charges yesterday after he handed himself into police.

Five people, including journalist John Pilger, film director Ken Loach and socialite Jemima Khan, stood up in court, offering to put up sureties so Assange could be released on bail.

But a judge refused for fear Assange would flee the country.

A Wi k iLea k s spokesman sa i d Assange's arrest would not stop the release of more secret files.

He added: "WikiLeaks is operational. We are continuing on the same track as laid out before.

"Any development with regards to Julian Assange will not change the plans we have with regards to the releases today and in the coming days."

Assange, 39, was held by Scotland Yard's extradition unit after Swedish authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. He denies assaulting two women in Sweden in August and claims the allegations are part of a US operation to shut his website down.

Assange told a judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court that he would fight extradition. He will stay in custody until a further hearing on Tuesday.

Payments A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Assange is accused by the Swedish authorities of one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape."

Yesterday, US defence secretary Robert Gates said of Assange's arrest: "That sounds like good news to me."

WikiLeaks have obtained 250,000 US secret documents. They were due to publish a further batch last night.

Yesterday, Visa suspended payments to WikiLeaks pending an inquiry into how the organisation operate.

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CONSPIRACY CLAIMS: Assange is driven to court yesterday
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Dec 8, 2010
Words:292
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