Wikileaks' Assange can fight extradition to Sweden, court rules

Summary:Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange will be allowed to take his appeal against extradition to the highest court in the UK.

LONDON -- Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange has been told by the High Court, that he will be allowed to appeal his extradition to Sweden under sexual assault and rape charges to the Supreme Court, the UK's highest judicial body.

At the High Court this morning, where a previous appeal failed to overturn an extradition ruling, Assange was told that he can appeal to the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn his conviction.

He now has two weeks to formally lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court.

Had the appeal not been successful, Assange would have had 10 days to be extradited to Sweden.

Judges refused Assange's permission to appeal directly to the Supreme Court, but that the case presents questions of "general public importance".

Though this allows Assange stay in the UK for the time being, Assange has 'no automatic right' to be heard by the court, the BBC said.

Assange could take his case to the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, granting him stay in the UK even longer.

Wikileaks has released batches of seriously damaging data to governments and private industry alike. Arguably, the whistleblowing website caused most anger with the publication of over 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables between the U.S. Department of States and its embassies abroad.

The Wikileaks' founder has been under 'house arrest' for over a year, after he was jailed for nine days in December last year. He was bailed to a country manor belonging to a friend in Norfolk, East England.

His arrest came shortly after the 'Cablegate' release. Assange and his legal team believe that the allegations could be "politically motivated", relating to his work with whistleblowing site, Wikileaks.

Wikileaks had previously posted over 390,000 documents on the Iraq war, followed by 77,000 classified documents relating to the war in Afghanistan, known as the 'Iraq War Logs' and 'Afghan War Logs' respectively.

Related:

Topics: United Kingdom, Government

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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