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WikiLeaks Founder Assange Loses Extradition Appeal

02.11.2011 11:44

A British court has ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be extradited to Sweden to face questioning over alleged sex crimes.

The High Court in London upheld a lower court ruling, rejecting Assange's appeal against the extradition.

Swedish authorities want to question Assange over accusations of rape and sexual assalt made by two former female volunteers for his WikiLeaks organization in Stockholm last year.

Assange denies the allegations and says he is being targeted for publishing thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic files.

Assange, an Australian citizen, has also accused the United States of putting pressure on Britain and Sweden.

On leaving the courtroom after the decision, Assange again insisted it was unlawful to extradite him to Sweden where he has not been charged with any crime.

"I have not been charged with any crime in any country," Assange said. "Despite this, the European Arrest Warrant is so restrictive that it prevents U.K. courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today."

It was not immediately clear whether Assange might try to take his case to the Supreme Court, as a BBC report suggested his lawyers had pledged. They would reportedly need permission from the High Court for such a step.

Assange was arrested in London in December 2010, on a European arrest warrant issued by Sweden. He has been living under strict bail conditions in Britain since his arrest.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/uk_court_ruling_assange_extradition/24378701.html

Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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