11 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks' Assange moved to isolation in British jail

WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange was in an isolation unit of a London jail Saturday, as new leaked US diplomatic cables revealed a row between the Vatican and Ireland over a child abuse inquiry.

The 39-year-old Australian had been transferred from the main section of Wandsworth prison to an isolation unit, Jennifer Robinson, one of his legal team, said Friday.

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


Assange is due to appear in a London court for a second time Tuesday after being arrested on a warrant issued by Sweden. Prosecutors there want to question him about two women's allegations of rape and sexual molestation.

WikiLeaks insists the allegations are politically motivated because the whistleblowing website has enraged Washington and governments around the world by releasing thousands of classified US diplomatic cables.

Robinson complained that Assange was getting no recreation time in the prison and was having difficulties getting phone calls out. "He is on his own," she said.

The former computer hacker was not allowed to have a laptop in his cell, but his lawyers have requested one.