Assange lodges new challenge to extradition: UK judiciary

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has filed an application to take his appeal against extradition to Sweden to Britain's Supreme Court, the judiciary said Tuesday.

The move comes after the High Court in London on November 2 ruled that the 40-year-old Australian could be extradited to face questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

"The High Court has received an application from Julian Assange for permission to take the case to the Supreme Court," a spokesman for the Judiciary of England and Wales told AFP.

On its Twitter feed, the judiciary said the High Court would "consider Julian Assange's application for a certificate of law of general public importance on 5 December."

Under English law, the Supreme Court will only consider his appeal if his lawyers can convince the high court judges that the case is of special public interest.

They are likely to do so by pointing to the status of the European Arrest Warrant system under which Assange was first arrested in December last year, and which is due to be discussed in the British parliament later this month.

The challenge comes despite the fact that a Swedish public relations firm claimed last week that it had been hired by Assange and that he would soon be returning to Sweden to face questioning over the allegations.

Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange on suspicion of two counts of sexual molestation and an accusation of rape made by two Swedish women in August 2010.

© 2011 AFP

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