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Assange can appeal extradition to Sweden

Dec. 5, 2011 at 12:13 PM
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LONDON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has won the right to challenge his extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges in Britain's Supreme Court, officials say.

British High Court judges decided Assange could ask the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to rule on whether Swedish officials had the authority to issue European arrest warrants, The Daily Telegraph reported. The High Court said the question of whether the Swedish authorities had that authority is a matter of "public importance."

Assange, 40, had been on home detention at a supporter's mansion in eastern England while on bail for nearly a year.

He has 14 days to petition the Supreme Court for a hearing.

Two British courts had previously ruled Assange, an Australian, should be sent to Sweden to face accusations of raping one woman and sexually molesting another in August of last year.

Assange has denied wrongdoing, saying the sex was consensual and calling the case against him politically motivated because he operates WikiLeaks, which reveals secret information about governments throughout the world.

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