Assange seeks UK Supreme Court extradition hearing

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaving London's High Court on November 2, after losing his legal battle to avoid extradition.

Story highlights

  • Julian Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden over sex assault claims
  • His application to have his case heard by the Supreme Court will be considered next month
  • Assange denies wrongdoing and says the case is politically motivated
  • He lost his appeal at the High Court earlier this month
WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange has applied to take his appeal against extradition to Sweden over sex assault allegations to the United Kingdom's Supreme Court, the UK Judicial Office said Tuesday.
The court will hear his case early next month.
He is expected to argue that his case raises a question of general public importance and so should be considered by some of the most senior judges in the country, the Guardian newspaper reports.
The Judicial Office for England and Wales confirmed Assange's legal move via Twitter, saying: "High Court to consider Julian Assange's application for a certificate of law of general public importance on 5 December."
Assange, who has been under house arrest for nearly a year, lost his court battle to stay in Britain earlier this month.
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Luz verde a la extradición 00:48
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Appeals court judges Lord Justice John Thomas and Justice Duncan Ouseley rejected all four of the arguments Assange's defense team used to fight the extradition.
Assange is accused of sexually assaulting two women in Sweden in August 2010.
Although he has not been charged with a crime, Swedish prosecutors want to question him in connection with the allegations.
Swedish authorities allege that the unnamed woman agreed to have sex with him only if he wore a condom, and that he then had unprotected sex with her while she was asleep.
Assange, founder of the controversial whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, denies wrongdoing and says the case is politically motivated.
"I have not been charged with any crime in any country," he said outside the High Court in London in early November after losing that extradition battle.
"Despite this, the European arrest warrant is so restrictive that it prevents UK courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today."
The extradition case is not linked to his work as founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, which has put him on the wrong side of the U.S. authorities.
His organization, which facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information, has published some 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables in the past year, causing embarrassment to the government and others.
It has also published hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents relating to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But the organization has come under increasing financial pressure in recent months, leading Assange to announce in October that WikiLeaks was temporarily stopping publication to "aggressively fundraise" in order to stay afloat.