Mum's relief as Julian Assange freed

CHRISTINE Assange says her faith in the British justice system has been confirmed after a judge granted bail to her son, the founder of WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange will be swapping a Victorian prison cell for an English country mansion after the overnight decision.

Mr Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning on sex-crimes allegations, claims he and his mother strongly deny.

The decision to free him on bail was greeted with delight by supporters who believe the allegations have been manipulated by enemies of the secret-spilling website, which continues to pour classified US diplomatic cables onto the web.

Bail was opposed by prosecutors who claim the 39-year-old Australian may abscond rather than face trial.

Cheers erupted from supporters outside the London court as Assange emerged to address the crowd.

"It's great to smell the fresh air of London again," he said amid a barrage of flash bulbs.

“First, some thank yous to all the people around the world who have had faith in me, who have supported my team while I’ve been away. To my lawyers who have put up a brave, and ultimately, successful fight.

“To our sureties and people who have provided money in the face of great difficulty and adversity. And to members of the press who were not all taken in and considered to look deeper in their work.

“And finally to the British justice system itself, where if justice is not always an outcome, at least it is not dead yet.”

“During my time in solitary confinement in the bottom of a Victorian prison I had time to reflect on the conditions of those people around the world also in solitary confinement, also on remand in conditions that are more difficult than those faced by me.

“Those people also need your attention and support and with that I hope to continue my work and continue to protest my innocence in this matter and to reveal as we get it, which we have not yet, the evidence from these allegations. Thank you.”

Assange gave no indication of what his immediate plans were, but said the period he spent in prison had given him time to reflect on the condition of inmates elsehwere.

 He didn't respond to shouted questions from assembled journalists, returning inside the court to get into his lawyer's car.

Assange is now expected to head to a British country mansion where he will have to observe a curfew and wear a monitoring device.

The Australian's next extradition hearing is set for January 11.

Christine Assange, from Noosa, told the Sunshine Coast Daily she was relieved at the result.

"I am very happy with the decision," she said.

"I had faith in the British justice system that the judge in the high court would uphold the magistrate's decision to grant bail.

"My faith has been confirmed. Congratulations to the legal team, who have done a wonderful job. I cannot wait to see and hold my son close."

A beaming Mrs Assanged thanked the Australian public for their support and the media for its coverage of her son's plight.

- with wires

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