Assange set for UK extradition verdict

May 29, 2012, 06:11 IST | Agencies

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (in pic) will find out on Wednesday whether he can be extradited from Britain to Sweden, as the Supreme Court hands down its judgement at the end of a marathon legal battle.

Britain’s highest court is the 40-year-old Australian’s final avenue of appeal under UK law, having been detained in December 2010 on a European arrest warrant.

He is wanted in Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault. Since then he has been through round upon round of legal battles, culminating in what will be a short ruling at the Supreme Court in central London.

Assange will have been living under restrictions on his movement for 540 days when the verdict is handed down. Assange’s case rests on a single point — that the Swedish prosecutor who issued a warrant for his arrest was not a valid judicial authority.

The Supreme Court president will give a summary of the point of law raised by the appeal, the court’s decision, and a brief explanation of its rationale.

A lower court in Britain initially approved Assange’s extradition to Sweden in February 2011. An appeal to the High Court was rejected in November, but he subsequently won permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Assange has said he fears his extradition will eventually lead to his transfer to the United States, where US soldier Bradley Manning is facing a court-martial over accusations that he handed documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

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