Controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange vowed to continue fighting for freedom of expression, despite being unable to talk in person to a Brighton audience.

Mr Assange gave a talk to a sold- out Brighton Festival audience via video link because his bail conditions restrict him from travelling to the city.

Mr Assange, who is facing extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sex offences, spoke through a video feed at the Corn Exchange in Church Road on Saturday.

He said parts of the international media had a “scheming agenda to destroy WikiLeaks” and accused one newspaper of “trying to bring him down”.

He also urged audience members with inquisitive minds to investigate other “interesting companies”, which The Argus cannot name for legal reasons.

Mr Assange, who denies the allegations against him, was taking part in a debate on Article 19 – the fundamental right of free speech enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

He vowed that WikiLeaks’ work would continue even if he is jailed, but said his website had been banned from accepting payments from supporters by electronic payment systems like credit cards and PayPal.

He said: “Who would have thought that an organisation like WikiLeaks would be reduced to taking donations by cheques? But it is ordinary people who want to support us – mums and dads.

“My staff often remind me that we published even more documents when I was in jail than we did when I was free. The work will continue.”

Also taking part in the debate organised by Brighton Festival was Mark Stephens, partner at Finers Stephens Innocent, Assange’s lawyers; Sue Stapely, BBC TV programme-maker turned politician, broadcaster and solicitor; and Dr Martin Moore, director of the Media Standards Trust.