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United Kingdom - Sweden

Assange loses UK extradition appeal

Reuters/Andrew Winning
2 min

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his appeal to block his extradition from the UK to Sweden to face questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations.

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The 40-year-old Australian was arrested in Britain in December and was appealing at the High Court in London against a lower court ruling in February.

Assange argued that because the European Arrest Warrant under which he was held was issued by a prosecutor, not a court, it was invalid, but the judges ruled it had been subject to independent judicial scrutiny in Sweden.

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They also rejected his assertion that the claims made by two women of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and an accusation of rape would not be offences under English law.

One woman alleged that Assange had unprotected sex with her while she was asleep, and the judges rejected Assange’s lawyers' contention that consent to sex on condition that a condom was used remained consent when a condom was not used.

"There is nothing in the statement from which it could be inferred that he reasonably expected that she would have consented to sex without a condom," the judgement said. "It is clear that the allegation is that he had sexual intercourse with her when she was not in a position to consent and so he could not have had any reasonable belief that she did."

Assange claims that the allegations are part of a dirty tricks campaign in response to WikiLeaks’s publication of hundreds of thousands of classified documents which have
enraged governments across the world, especially that of the United States.
 

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