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U.K. Top Court Rejects Assange Bid to Block Extradition

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, accused of rape by two Swedish women, has been fighting extradition for 18 months and lost his appeal at the U.K.’s highest court on May 30. Photographer: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images

Julian Assange, founder of the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, lost his bid to have the U.K.’s top court reconsider a decision that would allow him to be extradited to Sweden to face rape allegations.

The Supreme Court dismissed the application by Dinah Rose, Assange’s lawyer, seeking to re-open the appeal, the court said in an e-mailed statement today. Rose asked the court June 12 to re-open the case to consider a European Treaty on extraditions.

Assange, accused of rape by two Swedish women, has fought being sent to Sweden for 18 months and lost his appeal at the U.K.’s highest court last month. The court rejected Assange’s argument the Swedish prosecutor who investigated the sex-assault claims wasn’t authorized to issue a European arrest warrant.

“If this means that the English side of this is over then the Swedish defense team will prepare for our part,” said Per Samuelson, a Swedish lawyer for Assange. “We have spoken to Mr. Assange several times and are prepared to defend him and we are convinced that he will leave Sweden a free man.”

Assange, arrested in London in December 2010, may still appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. The U.K. Supreme Court stayed extradition proceedings for 14 days to allow him to seek a final appeal at the Strasbourg, France-based tribunal.

Rose today declined to comment. Gareth Peirce, another lawyer for Assange, didn’t immediately respond to a call for comment. Swedish prosecutors Marianne Ny couldn’t immediately be reached by phone for comment on the ruling.

The allegations against Assange became public around the same time he posted classified U.S. military and diplomatic cables on the WikiLeaks website, creating controversy for U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration. Assange, an Australian, claimed Sweden fabricated the arrest warrant to assist the U.S. in punishing him for the breach.

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