WikiLeaks' Assange moved to segregation unit in London jail

10th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has "for his own safety" been moved to a segregation unit of the London prison where he is being held pending extradition to Sweden, one of his lawyers said Friday.

"The prison authorities are doing it for his own safety, presumably," lawyer Jennifer Robinson told AFP.

She said the 39-year-old Australian was moved to the segregation unit of Wandsworth prison in southwest London on Thursday, two days after he was taken to the jail.

The lawyer complained that Assange "does not get any recreation, he has difficulties getting phone calls out, he is on his own."

Assange, a former computer hacker who has coordinated WikiLeaks' release of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables, is not allowed to have a laptop computer in the prison, but his lawyers have requested one.

"Obviously we are trying to prepare a legal appeal and he has difficulties hand writing, so it would be much easier in order to assist us in the preparation if he had a laptop," Robinson said.

She declined to elaborate on why he had difficulties writing.

Robinson said Assange was in "very good" spirits but he was "frustrated" that he could not answer the allegations that WikiLeaks was behind cyber attacks launched on credit card firms which have refused to do business with the website.

"He told me he is absolutely not involved and this is a deliberate attempt to conflate WikiLeaks, which is a publishing organisation, with hacking organisations which are not."

Assange was refused bail by a judge in London on Tuesday after being arrested on a warrant issued by Sweden, where prosecutors want to speak to him about allegations of rape and sexual molestation made by two women.

He is due to appear in a London court again next Tuesday, when his case will be argued by Geoffrey Robertson, a high-profile British-Australian human rights lawyer.

© 2010 AFP

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