Wikileaks man Julian Assange 'ready to fight extradition'
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is ready to fight extradition from the UK at a full hearing next month, his lawyer has said.
The 39-year-old Australian, who denies sexual offences against two women, is wanted by the Swedish authorities.
Geoffrey Robertson, QC, said the defence team was ready for a two-day extradition case, which was set for 7 and 8 February during a London hearing.
A skeleton outline of Mr Assange's defence is to be posted online later.
District Judge Nicholas Evans oversaw a 10-minute hearing at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court, sitting at Woolwich Crown Court, and adjourned the case until next month.
Outside court Mr Assange said: "We are happy with today's outcome."
Details of the skeleton defence argument will be posted on the Finers Stephens Innocent website later.
In court, Mr Assange, who founded the whistle-blowing website, spoke only to confirm his name, age and address.
But outside court he told a throng of journalists: "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."
The bail conditions were varied to enable Mr Assange to stay at the Frontline Club, in Paddington, on 6 and 7 February.
Mr Assange has been staying at a manor home on the Norfolk-Suffolk border owned by the Frontline Club's owner, Vaughan Smith, but Mr Robertson argued that it was difficult to reach court in time from that address.
Last week the US government handed out subpoenas to the social networking site Twitter, requesting personal details of people connected to Wikileaks, including Mr Assange.
It comes amid speculation a grand jury in the US is investigating Mr Assange and others for espionage.
Mr Assange was released on bail by a High Court judge just before Christmas after spending nine days in Wandsworth prison.
He denies sexually assaulting two female supporters during a visit to Stockholm in August.
He and his supporters claim the inquiry is politically motivated.BBC News