UK court rules Assange should be extradited

WikiLeaks published a cache of over 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables last year and caused a media sensation.

Updated: Nov 02, 2011, 21:11 PM IST

London: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden to answer sex crime allegations after judges rejected claims that moves to return him to Scandinavia were unfair and unlawful.

Appearing outside the court after the ruling, Assange said that he would be considering next step in the days ahead.

Judges John Thomas and Duncan Ousely said Assange should be sent to be questioned over the alleged rape of one woman and the molestation of another in Stockholm last year.

The 40-year-old has denied wrongdoing, and insists the case is politically motivated by those opposed to the work of his secret-spilling organisation.

A British judge had approved the Swedish request for the computer expert`s extradition in February, but Assange appealed against that decision.

His lawyers had argued the Swedish demand is legally flawed and that the sex was consensual. Assange, who is free under strict bail conditions, has also accused the United States of putting pressure on Britain, Sweden and the media.
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.

Bureau Report