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WikiLeaks' Assange loses against extradition to Sweden on sex allegations

2 November 2011 | Europe

JUDGES, John Thomas and Duncan Ousely have ruled that, the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange be sent to Stockholm- Sweden, for questioning over the alleged rape of one woman and the molestation of another.

Today, Mr. Assange, 40, lost an appeal against his extradition to Sweden to answer sex crime allegations after the two judges rejected claims that the moves to return him to Sweden would be unfair and unlawful.

Assange denies any wrong doing, and he insists the case is politically motivated by those opposed to the work of his secret-spilling organization.

Assange's site WikiLeaks, in recent times has been publishing several of leaked diplomatic cables that have embarrassed many leaders, government officials and businesses around the world.

Clad in a gray suit, Assange tossed into piles of documents and shook hands with supporters as he appeared in court to hear the verdict.

It is yet to be established whether Assange, who has spent much of the past year under virtual house arrest at a supporter's country estate, will now have the right to appeal against the decision into another Britain Supreme Court.

During their ruling, the judges said the decision by Swedish authorities to issue the European Arrest Warrant could not “be said to be disproportionate.”

“In any event, this is self evidently not a case relating to a trivial offense, but to serious sexual offenses,” the judges said.

Before the judgment, extradition lawyer Julian Knowles had said Assange would only be able to appeal to Britain's Supreme Court the country's highest court; if the appeals court's ruling involved an issue of “real legal significance.”

Knowles said that if Assange is permitted a further appeal, he would likely stay on bail for a couple of months. If not, “he'll be extradited within 10 days,” he predicted.

Assange had claimed in his appeal that the alleged offenses would not have been regarded as crimes under English and Welsh law, a stance the judges rejected.

“There can be no doubt that if what Mr. Assange had done had been done in England and Wales, he would have been charged,” the ruling said.

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