Assange loses High Court appeal against extradition to Sweden
Arrest warrant stands, Supreme Court option open
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange? has been ordered by a High Court judge to return to Sweden to face rape and sexual molestation allegations brought against him by two women.
The Australian-born WikiLeaker-in-chief – who was arrested by Scotland Yard police 11 months ago – was granted bail earlier this year, after his lawyers secured funds of around ￡200,000 from a number of celebrity friends.
His High Court appeal hearing, against an extradition order to Sweden in relation to the allegations, began in June.
In February, Assange was told by Judge Howard Riddle at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, in south east London, that he would be extradited to Sweden.
Since then, Assange – whose website has leaked 250,000 of confidential diplomatic cables – has been operating under strict bail conditions and has an electronic tag around his ankle.
The WikiLeaks man has denied any wrongdoing, and has said that his relations with both women – who allege rape and sexual molestation – were entirely consensual.
Swedish prosecutors have repeatedly requested that Assange make himself available for questioning. They issued a warrant for the WikiLeaker's arrest, but haven't filed charges in the case.
Assange, who has previously described Riddle's decision as "the result of a European arrest warrant system run amok", has two weeks to decide if he wants to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court against today's judgment. ?