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British Court Rejects WikiLeaks Founder Appeal


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves the Supreme Court at the end of the second day of his extradition appeal, London, February 2, 2012.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange leaves the Supreme Court at the end of the second day of his extradition appeal, London, February 2, 2012.

Britain's Supreme Court has rejected an application by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden, where he faces charges for sex crimes.

In a ruling issued Thursday, all seven Supreme Court justices dismissed the application as being "without merit," rejecting arguments by Assange's lawyers that they had not been given the chance to properly cross-examine the evidence.

Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court rejected his argument that a European arrest warrant was invalid because the prosecutor had no legal authority to issue it. But the court granted Assange's legal team two weeks to study the ruling and apply to reopen the case.

The 40-year-old WikiLeaks founder is wanted in Sweden for questioning in connection with allegations that he raped one woman and sexually assaulted another in 2010.

Assange, who denies the charges, can still make one last appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

The WikiLeaks website gained international notoriety when it released hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents, including diplomatic cables held by the State Department about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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