WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, fighting extradition to Sweden over assumed sex crimes, walked free on bail from a British jail on Thursday protesting his innocence and pledging to continue exposing official secrets.

Assange spoke to a crowd of journalists and supporters waiting outside the High Court in London five hours after a judge said he could be released on 200,000 pounds ($312,000) bail under stringent conditions.

"Well it's great to smell the fresh air of London again," said Assange.

The 39-year-old Australian later arrived at Ellingham Hall, in Suffolk eastern England, where he must live as a condition of his bail. He spoke to reporters at the mansion that belongs to a former army officer and Assange supporter, Vaughan Smith.

"I continue on with our work. Clearing my name is not the highest task I have. The highest task I have is to continue with my work."

Assange has spent nine days in a London jail after Sweden issued an arrest warrant for him over allegations of sexual misconduct made by two female WikiLeaks volunteers.


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