WikiLeaks founder pines for computer access in jail

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 10, 2010 14:40 hrs

London, Dec 10 (DPA) WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is being held in extradition custody in London, has been refused the use of his own laptop but will be given a prison computer with limited internet access, the Guardian newspaper reported Friday.

The news emerged after a prison visit by Mark Stephens, the lawyer representing Assange in his efforts to fight extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.

After a visit to Wandsworth jail, Stephens described his client as being 'quite chipper' and said the 39-year-old Australian seemed to be 'bearing up'.

Assange, who was detained after presenting himself to a police station in London Tuesday, had complained that he had no access to a computer, even without an internet connection, or to writing material, the Guardian said.

The prison authorities were arranging for him to be given a computer under a scheme called 'access to justice', it reported.

In the wake of online attacks on corporations by pro-WikiLeaks hackers, Assange was concerned that 'people have unjustly accused WikiLeaks of inspiring cyber attacks', the report said.

The Guardian, which is one of a series of international newspapers which have published the WikiLeaks revelations, said Assange was being housed in the segregation wing of the jail after complaining that he had received 'a high degree of interest' from other prisoners.

Stephens reported that his client complained about 'daytime TV' in the prison and was wearing a grey prison tracksuit as he had none of his own clothes. Assange went straight from his court hearing to jail Tuesday.

His legal team is expected to try and secure bail for him at an extradition hearing Dec 14.

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