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Assange extradition appeal denied. Will WikiLeaks founder be sent to Sweden?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition appeal was quashed by London's High Court today, opening up the possibility that he could be sent to Sweden to face sexual assault accusations by the end of the month.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves the High Court in central London on Wednesday.

Andrew Winning/Reuters

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost a legal battle to stop him being extradited from the United Kingdom to Sweden to face accusations of sexual assault.

Speaking outside London’s High Court and flanked by supporters, the Australian maintained his innocence and questioned the arrest warrant used by the Swedish authorities demanding his return to Stockholm.

In bright sunshine on the court steps he said: “I have not been charged with any crime in any country. Despite this, the European Arrest Warrant is so restrictive it prevents UK courts from considering the facts of a case as judges have made clear here today. We will be considering our next step in the days ahead."

Mr. Assange, who is on bail, now has 14 days to consider an appeal to the UK’s highest court, the Supreme Court, but must get permission from the High Court to do so. If the request is rejected he will be escorted to Sweden to face a court there.

The allegations against Assange

The allegations arose during a 10-day visit to Scandinavia in August last year when one woman claimed she was raped by Assange and another that she was molested by him.

Assange was arrested in the UK last December under a European Arrest Warrant and released on bail, but ordered to wear an ankle tag and observe a night-time curfew. A number of famous friends and supporters such as British socialite Jemima Khan and filmmaker Ken Loach rallied round to pay the £200,000 ($320,000) bail which saw him residing at the London mansion of supporter and former army captain Vaughan Smith.

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