WikiLeaks founder Assange granted bail by U.K. court

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been granted bail by a London court under strict conditions as he continues to fight extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and molestation.

Assange was granted his release on $310,000 bail on Tuesday and ordered to appear in court again on Jan. 11. Once released he must reside at a mansion owned by Vaughan Smith, founder of the Frontline Club for journalists. Assange will remain in jail while Swedish authorities appeal the ruling.

The Guardian reported that the news of Assange's release was greeted with cheers both inside and outside the courtroom. Assange will be under curfew for eight hours a day and required to report to the police daily. He is not permitted to travel abroad and will be forced to wear an electronic tracking device.

Assange faces allegations in Sweden that he had unprotected sex with two young women without their consent; he has said the encounters were consensual and has labeled the affair an international plot to stop WikiLeaks.

The WikiLeaks saga has escalated steadily over the past few weeks, with the site continuing to release classified diplomatic cables despite Assange's personal situation. In response, U.S. authorities have pressured companies to cut off business ties with the site and lawmakers have called for Assange to prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Thursday morning to examine the act as well as the "legal and constitutional issues raised by WikiLeaks" according to a release from Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.).