Court to rule on Assange extradition

Officials in London have announced the High Court will rule next Wednesday whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Mr Assange has not been charged with any offence in Sweden and denies the accusations, which he says are politically motivated.

Lawyers for the 40-year-old Australian, who is facing sex crime allegations, say his removal would be “unfair and unlawful”.

Mr Assange has angered the US government by publishing thousands of confidential diplomatic cables.

He has been fighting extradition for months, but his lawyers say if he is sent to Sweden he risks extradition to the United States to answer possible charges concerning the leaks.

Earlier this week, Mr Assange fronted media in London to announce the website was suspending publication of classified documents due to a funding crisis.

US-based finance companies like Visa and Mastercard stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks in December last year after the US criticised the whistleblowing website’s release of tens of thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables.

Speaking to the media, Mr Assange had said he was coping well despite his legal problems.

“Well it’s quite easy. The work is very satisfying, very demanding and one simply throws oneself into the mission,” he said.

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