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Wikileaks founder Assange wins latest round of legal battle to appeal extradition


09:28, December 06, 2011

Wikileak founder Julian Assange addresses the press after being granted permission to petition the UK Supreme Court, outside the High Court in London, Britain, Dec. 5, 2011. Assange won the right to petition the UK Supreme Court in his fight against extradition to Sweden over alleged sex offences on Monday, after losing his High Court appeal last month. (Xinhua/Zeng Yi)

LONDON, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Wikileaks website founder Julian Assange won leave from the English High Court on Monday to ask the country's Supreme Court to examine his bid to avoid extradition from Britain to Sweden, where authorities want to question him about sexual assault charges raised by two women.

Assange, the 40-year-old Australian who runs the wikileaks website which has angered the U.S. authorities by publishing millions of secret diplomatic cables on the Internet, has been fighting a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued by authorities in Sweden for a year.

The Swedish authorities want to question Assange about an allegation of rape raised by one woman, and of sexual coercion by a second woman, which the two women claim happened on his visit to the Scandinavian country in 2010.

As he left the court Assange told waiting journalists, "The High Court has decided that an issue that arises from my own case is of general public importance and may be of assistance to other cases and should be heard by the Supreme Court. The long struggle for justice for me and for others continues."

Assange was critical of the extradition process, "Extradition safeguards are a concern to many people. There are many aggrieved families in Britain and in other countries in Europe who are struggling for justice."

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