WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Loses U.K. Court Appeal Against Extradition to Sweden
Whistleblower site pioneer faces rape and sexual assault charges in Scandinavian territory.
LONDON – Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, has lost his appeal in the U.K. courts against extradition to Sweden to face rape allegations.
Assange took his battle to the High Court but the judges ruled Wednesday that the Australian-born WikiLeaks founder would have to face extradition to the Scandinavian territory to face the allegations.
The British media was awash with the ruling including reports in The Guardian and The Daily Mail made by Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Ouseley.
The judges’ decision means Assange is now in line to be taken to Sweden to face rape and sexual assault accusations made by two Swedish women following his visit to Stockholm in August 2010.
Assange has 14 days to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court in the U.K. if he believes there is a wider issue of "public importance" at stake in the decision, the reports say.
If successful in arguing that, Assange will remain here on conditional bail until a further hearing sometime early next year.
But if his right to appeal is denied, police officers will be responsible for arranging his removal to Sweden within 10 days, according to The Guardian.
Assange has been battling through an appeal hearing against the arrest warrant issued following the allegations of sexual assault and rape on a visit to Sweden.
Assange’s WikiLeaks obtained and published hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. government documents sending the media into a frenzy.
In September this year, Assange lashed out at U.K. newspaper The Guardian, blaming it for the release of some 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables, complete with the names of thousands of U.S. informants living in oppressive regimes.
"The Guardian was negligent in its behavior," Assange said, speaking via satellite to Berlin's Medienwoche conference from the U.K.
In his international keynote speech to Berlin's Medienwoche he attacked Washington, the hidden agendas of mainstream media outlets and attempts by governments to dismantle his whistle-blowing website.
He spoke via satellite from the U.K., where he is under house arrest.