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Wikileaks founder Assange loses extradition appeal

11-02-2011 22:54 BJT

LONDON, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday lost bid to block extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Two judges at the High Court in London said that a ruling in favor of extradition must be upheld.

Local media reported that the court ruled that issuing of the European warrant that led to Assange's arrest and all subsequent proceedings to achieve extradition were lawful and proportionate.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange addresses the press before leaving the High Court in London Nov. 2, 2011. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday lost bid to block extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault. (Xinhua/Bimal Gautam)

The two judges dismissed the argument that the warrant was invalid because it had been issued by a prosecutor and not a "judicial authority."

The judges held the action of the prosecutor was subject to the independent scrutiny of Swedish judges "which, as judges of another (EU) member state, we must respect."

The court also rejected Assange's assertion that the descriptions of the offenses were not a fair and accurate account of the conduct alleged against him.

According to British Crown Prosecution Service, if the High Court uphold the extradition decision, a further appeal can be made to Britain's Supreme Court, the country's highest judicial body. If at any stage in the process the extradition is confirmed and there is no outstanding appeal, then Assange must be extradited within two weeks.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the High Court in London Nov. 2, 2011. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday lost bid to block extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault. (Xinhua/Bimal Gautam)

The 40-year-old Australian computer scientist was accused of rape and sex offenses against two Swedish women in Stockholm last August.

Assange turned himself up to London police last December. The Swedish prosecution authority then applied to extradite Assange to Sweden for the case.


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