WikiLeaks founder Assange loses appeal against extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, to carefully consider his next step in the days to come
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his High Court bid to block extradition to Sweden where he faces sex crime allegations. Two judges rejected claims that extraditing the 40-year-old Australian would be “unfair and unlawful”. Speaking outside court after the verdict, Assange said that “we will be considering our next step” in the coming days.
The Swedish authorities want him to answer accusations of raping one woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm in August last year. Assange, whose WikiLeaks website published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments, denies the allegations and says they are politically motivated. The High Court upheld a ruling by District Judge at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court, in February that the computer expert should be extradited to face investigation.
Assange nodded and smiled at his supporters, who broke into a round of applause as he passed. Banners read “Free Assange! Free Manning! End the wars”. Susan Gianstefani, one of Assange’s supporters held a sign asking, “Why are we persecuting the innocent?”
The Christian worker said, “I think he’s a hero for truth. I think they’re out to get him the system in general and, I think, the US and Australian governments. He’s made a lot of enemies in high places.” The judges ruled that the issuing of the European arrest warrant that led to Assange’s arrest and all subsequent proceedings to achieve extradition were “proportionate”.
14 The number of days Assange’s lawyers said they would take to decide whether to seek the right to appeal to the supreme court
‘I am danger’
An online dating profile created by Julian Assange has been unearthed, disclosing that the WikiLeaks editor sought “spirited, erotic” women “from countries that have sustained political turmoil”
Celeb friends missing
There were no signs of Assange’s famous celebrity friends, including socialite Jemima Khan and filmmaker Ken Loach, who publicly contributed £20,000 towards his £2,00,000 bail when he was arrested in December last year.
Oct 22, 2010 WikiLeaks releases some 4,00,000 US military files chronicling the Iraq war, the largest leak ever
Nov 18, 2010 A Swedish court orders Assange’s detention as a result of an investigation into allegations of rape
Feb 24, 2011 A British judge approves the Swedish request to extradite Assange to face accusations of sex crimes
Nov 2, 2011 Britain’s High Court told Assange should be extradited to Sweden