Assange loses U.K. extradition appeal

After spending a year and a half under house arrest in England, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, lost his fight to avoid extradition to Sweden to face accusations of rape. The U.K. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Sweden's European Arrest Warrant for Assange was valid and "lawfully made," reports BBC News.

Assange and his lawyer, Dinah Rose, now have 14 days to make one last appeal, which the justices will consider to re-open the appeal. If the final appeal fails and Assange is eventually extradited, he will face a full trial in Sweden, where he is accused of raping one woman and "sexually molesting and coercing" another woman in Stockholm in August 2010.

A majority of five justices to two ruled against Assange, according to Lord Nicholas Phillips, the court's president. Phillips said the judgment "was not an easy decision to make." The two dissenters were Lord Mance and Lady Hale, who sided with Assange about the validity of the warrant.

Assange turned himself in to British authorities back in December of 2010, and has been under house arrest and subject to electronic monitoring for the duration of his fight against the Swedish extradition. He was not present at the 10-minute judgment Wednesday, as he was reportedly stuck in heavy traffic on the way to court.

The U.K. Supreme Court's full decision can be viewed online (384 KB PDF document).

Source: BBC News

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