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Julian Assange of WikiLeaks loses appeal to avoid extradition to Sweden


Supporters of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange demonstrate outside the UK Supreme Court prior to Mr Assange's extradition appeal on May 30, 2012 in London, England.


Oli Scarff

Julian Assange has lost his legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sex assault allegations after the UK Supreme Court dismissed his application to re-open an appeal.

The WikiLeaks founder had appealed a 5-2 majority decision by the Supreme Court on May 30 that Assange's extradition sought by Sweden via a European Arrest Warrant was lawful and could go ahead.

More from GlobalPost: UK: Julian Assange loses Swedish extradition appeal

Assange, 40, who was placed under house arrest in Britain more than 500 days ago, is facing accusations of raping one woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm in August 2010.

He has not been charged with a crime, however, and denies wrongdoing.

The decision had opened the prospect of his being handed over to the US for prosecution over the leaking of classified documents.

Appealing the decision, Assange's lead attorney, Dinah Rose, had asked the Supreme Court justices for permission to make further submissions.

She argued that his legal counsel had not been given a fair opportunity to address a particular legal point, and that they had been prevented from making counter submissions.

However, according to the BBC, the seven judges of Britain's top court unanimously dismissed that appeal as being "without merit."

Only one avenue appears to remain for Assange to remain in the UK: according to the UK Press Association, his legal team has 14 days to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to hear his case.

A WikiLeaks spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that Assange was "in discussions with his lawyers" and unavailable to comment.

He could be now be extradited in as little as two weeks, on Thursday, June 28.