The 39-year-old Australian is wanted in Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault upon two women. He appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court to fight the extradition process.
Mr Assange, who denies the claims, was refused bail by District Judge Howard Riddle on the grounds that he would fail to surrender if released.
Jemima Khan, film director Ken Loach and investigative journalist John Pilger had all offered £20,000 each as surety for his bail. However, he was remanded in custody and will appear again at the same court on December 14.
Mr Assange was arrested on Tuesday morning when he voluntarily attended a central London police station by appointment at 9.30am.
A European Arrest Warrant had been issued by the Swedish authorities in relation to the two alleged assaults on two women in August.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Officers from the Metropolitan Police Extradition Unit have arrested Julian Assange on behalf of the Swedish authorities on suspicion of rape.
“Julian Assange, 39, was arrested on a European Arrest Warrant by appointment at a London police station at 9.30am.
“He is accused by the Swedish authorities of one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape, all alleged to have been committed in August 2010.”
Before his court appearance, Mr Assange had not been seen publicly for 31 days, since an appearance in Geneva, and was believed to have been in hiding in the south-east of England as the latest tranche of wikileaks material was released.
It emerged that he had spent the last two nights at the Frontline Club, a club for journalists in central London.
During his one hour hearing, Mr Assange gave an address in Australia to the court.
The European Arrest Warrant was issued by the Swedish last month but could not be acted upon because it did not contain sufficient information for the British authorities. A spokesman for Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor, said the extra details were sent last week.
Police processed the warrant on Monday and arrangements were made with Mark Stephens, Mr Assange’s British lawyer, for the WikiLeaks founder to attend a central London police station.
Mr Stephens said his client was keen to discover what allegations he was facing so he could clear his name.
“It’s about time we got to the end of the day and we got some truth, justice and rule of law,” he said.
“Julian Assange has been the one in hot pursuit to vindicate himself to clear his good name.
“He has been trying to meet with her (the Swedish prosecutor) to find out what the allegations are he has to face and also the evidence against him, which he still hasn’t seen.”
Sweden’s Supreme Court upheld a court order to detain Mr Assange for questioning on suspicion of “rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion” after he appealed against two lower court rulings. He denies the allegations.
His details were also added to Interpol’s most wanted website, alerting police forces around the world.
His court appearance came as WikiLeaks was criticised for publishing details of hundreds of sites around the world that could be targeted in terrorist attacks.
Among the British sites listed are a transatlantic undersea cable landing in Cornwall; naval and motoring engineering firm MacTaggart Scott, based in the small Scottish town of Loanhead; and BAE Systems sites, including one in Preston, Lancashire.
The revelations prompted Sir Peter Ricketts, David Cameron’s national security adviser, to order a review of computer security across all government departments. [via The Telegraph (UK)]