LONDON: In a setback to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Britain's Supreme Court today ruled that he can be extradited to Sweden to face accusations of sex offences.
"The request for Assange's extradition has been lawfully made and his appeal against extradition is accordingly is dismissed," said the Supreme Court president, Mr Nicholas Phillips.
The seven judges were split five to two but the majority ruling was that the Swedish prosecutor was a judicial authority and therefore allowed to issue an arrest warrant for him to be questioned on sex crime allegations.
Assange, 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 him was "invalid".
The implementation of the judgement has been deferred for two weeks, during which Assange's lawyers are likely to seek reopening of the extradition case on the ground that the case had been decided on a point of law that was not argued by any side during the hearing.
Assange's lawyer, Mr Dinah Rose, had sought two weeks to decide whether to ask the Supreme Court to reopen the case, which has surprised legal observers. Assange was not in court today.