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Assange™ wins Supreme Court extradition appeal bid

WikiLeaker-in-chief to spend another Christmas in Blighty

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Julian Assange has been granted permission to appeal against his extradition to Sweden where he faces allegations of sexual molestation and rape.

The Supreme Court confirmed today it will hear his case against deportation in the new year; the WikiLeaker-in-chief was told by High Court judges last week that he could request a final appeal against his expulsion from Britain.

Assange was, in fact, technically refused the right to fight the extradition one last time, but the High Court did rule that the Supreme Court would get the final say on the matter.

That decision was made on the grounds of "general public importance".

"The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal and a hearing has been scheduled for two days, beginning on 1 February 2012," the Supreme Court said in a statement on its website this afternoon.

A panel of three Supreme Court Justices - Lord Hope, Lord Mance and Lord Dyson - considered the written submissions of all the parties involved in the Assange case.

"The Court has decided that seven Justices will hear the appeal given the great public importance of the issue raised, which is whether a prosecutor is a judicial authority," it said.

The details about which judges will hear the case won't be released until early next year.

One thing is certain, the Supreme Court is about to get its first very high-profile test of its decision-making capabilities.

In early November, Assange lost his battle in High Court and was ordered by Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Ouseley to return to Sweden to face rape and sexual molestation allegations brought against him by two women.

No charges have yet been brought against Assange in relation to those allegations. He denies any wrongdoing and maintains that he is innocent.

The Supreme Court decision comes on the same day that Bradley Manning, the US army private who allegedly supplied the great bulk of interesting information published by WikiLeaks, is expected to get his first hearing in the military trial brought against him. ®

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