Wikileaks founder Julian Assange lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden where he would stand trial for allegedly raping two women.
The UK high-court judges struck down the appeal on all four grounds, saying that the warrant, the accusations, and the subsequent proceedings had been valid.
Assange’s attorneys said they would take 14 days to determine whether they would seek the right to appeal to the UK’s supreme court. They also said they would challenge the £19,000 charges levied against him. Should his defense team choose not to raise the appeal, he could face extradition to Sweden by the end of the month.
Assange issued a short statement after the proceedings, urging members of the public to read the full judgement at swedenversusassange.com.
“I have not been charged with any crime in any country,” he said. “Despite this, the European arrest warrant is so restrictive that it prevents UK courts from considering the facts of a case, as judges have made clear here today. We will be considering our next step in the days ahead.
Swedish prosecutors served Assange an European arrest warrant after two Stockholm women accused him of rape and sexual assault in August of 2010.
“No doubt there will be many attempts made to try and spin these precedings as they occurred today, but they are merely technical,” Assange said.
According to The Guardian, in order to appeal again, Assange would have to convince high-court judges that there was a wider issue of “public importance” in today’s decision. That hearing will be held after three weeks. If he convinces the judges, the supreme court hearing will be put off until next year.
Assange in the past has claimed that the charges were merely a rouse to get him back to Sweden where he could later be extradited to the United States for charges relating to WikiLeaks. In February, his legal teams used these appeals in the Westminster magistrate court, and the senior judge threw the appeal out and ordered his extradition, thus setting up the high-court appeal.
He will remain on conditional bail under house arrest at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk until the next round of proceedings in three weeks.