WikiLeaks' Assange appeals to take case to UK Supreme Court

The High Court could refuse the request and Assange would have to go directly to the Supreme Court

WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange filed an appeal on Tuesday to take his case to the U.K.'s Supreme Court in a bid to block his extradition to Sweden on possible charges of sexual assault and rape.

The High Court will decide whether Assange is allowed to take his case to the Supreme Court, according to a spokesman for the judiciary of England and Wales. That hearing will be held on Dec. 5, although the court may not make a decision the same day.

If the High Court refuses his appeal, Assange could take his case directly to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court could refuse to hear Assange's case, the spokesman said.

The latest appeals filing is the next step Assange could take after he lost a second appeal in the High Court on Nov. 2. The two-judge panel said that European Arrest Warrant issued for Assange was proportionate and valid, and the offenses alleged against him are criminal in both the U.K. and Sweden.

In his first extradition hearing in February, Assange's legal team connected Sweden's pursuit with WikiLeaks' continuing release of some 250,000 secret U.S. diplomatic cables.

Assange has since toned down his appearances outside court, but did say after losing the second appeal that the European Arrest Warrant structure is so strict that it prevents U.K. courts from considering the facts of a case. He emphasized he hadn't been charged with a crime.

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