Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost his appeal against an order to extradite him from the UK to Sweden to answer sex crime allegations.
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, presided by Lord Phillips and six other judges, dismissed his appeal, concluding with a five to two majority that the request for Assange’s extradition was lawful.
However, the judges granted Assange a two-week extension on the order as his legal counsel considered a potential further appeal to the European Court of Human Rights
Assange had appealed a UK High Court's initial decision that he must return to Sweden to face rape and sexual molestation charges brought against him by two women. He contended that a Swedish prosecutor did not comprise a “judicial authority” with powers to issue a European arrest warrant, and that only a judge could do so.
However, the Supreme Court decided the prosecutor had that power [pdf].
The Wikileaks founder, who has denied any wrongdoing, continues to fight the extradition order to Sweden since it was put into effect in February last year.
If extradited to Sweden, Assange said he fears he will be handed over to the United States to face charges under the country’s Espionage Act.