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Assange appeal rejected by Swedish court

WikiLeaks founder Assange to appeal against decision by Swedish court not to drop an arrest warrant against him

20.11.2014
Assange appeal rejected by Swedish court

By Tommy Hansen and Assed Baig

LONDON

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to take his battle against an arrest warrant to Sweden's Supreme Court, his lawyer has disclosed.

Per Samuelson's comments came on Thursday after a Swedish court rejected an attempt by Assange, who remains in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, to overturn a four-year-old detention order brought against him in connection with allegations of sexual assault in Sweden.

Samuelson told Anadolu Agency: "I just talked to my client Julian Assange and he is very disappointed but still optimistic.

"He rests assured that it is only a matter of time before we shall win, and he has instructed me to appeal the ruling of the Swedish appeals court to the Supreme Court."

"Assange needs to remain in the embassy as long as there's a realistic threat of him being extradited to the U.S., in the end facing maybe 35 years in prison," he said, referring to the U.S. criminal inquiry against Assange in his capacity as front man of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.

- Appeal rejected

The 43-year-old Australian continues to shelter in the Ecuadorian embassy in order to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces claims of sexual molestation, lesser-degree rape and unlawful coercion allegedly committed against two women in Sweden in August, 2010.

The Svea Court of Appeal in Sweden earlier rejected his appeal against his detention order.

The court said in a statement: "In the view of the Court of Appeal there is no reason to set aside the detention solely because Julian Assange is in an embassy and the detention order cannot be enforced at present for that reason."

Assange has yet to be charged with any crime in connection with the allegations which are subject to a "preliminary investigation" in Sweden.

- Controversial communications

Police have encircled the Ecuadoran embassy where Assange has been granted asylum after British authorities threatened him with arrest if he leaves.

The U.K. police operation has cost more than $10 million to date.

Assange claims that, if he is extradited to Sweden, he could be extradited to the United States, where authorities are pursuing a "national security" case against him after WikiLeaks published high-level and controversial U.S. military and diplomatic communications regarding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and the U.S. State Department.

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