Assange loses final legal bid to block extradition to Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his final bid to block his extradition to Sweden to face sex offence charges after the British Supreme Court today dismissed his appeal to re-open the high-profile case.

The court also ruled that Assange, 40, should not be extradited until 14 days from today's judgement, that is, until June 28. The hacker-turned-activist, Assange, an Australian national, has been on conditional bail and is sought to be extradited to Sweden to face allegation of sex offences, which he denies.

His lawyers had argued before the Supreme Court that the European arrest warrant against the founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks was "invalid". On May 30, when the court ruled that the request for extradition had been lawfully made, Assange's lawyer Dinah Rose, had sought two weeks to decide whether to ask the court to reopen the case, which surprised legal observers.

Assange has been fighting for a year and a half against being sent to Sweden for questioning about accusations of sexual abuse. Two women accused him in August 2010 of sexually assaulting them during a visit to Sweden.

Assange has been under house arrest in Britain since December 2010. He fears that if he is extradited to Sweden, authorities there could hand him over to the United States, where he then could be prosecuted for his leaking thousands of classified diplomatic documents.

The Supreme Court noted that appeal to reopen the case was made on grounds that the majority of the court decided the appeal on a ground that Dinah Rose, Assange's counsel, had not been given a fair opportunity to address.

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