Assange lawyers launch extradition appeal bid

Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have lodged papers at the High Court for an appeal against a ruling that he should be extradited to Sweden to face sex offence charges.

A court official confirmed today that the papers had been lodged, but no date has yet been set for a hearing.



The extradition ruling was made last month at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south-east London.



The 39-year-old Australian is accused of sexually assaulting one woman and raping another during a week-long visit to Stockholm in August.



After the extradition ruling Assange criticised the European arrest warrant system and said he had "always known" he would have to appeal against the decision.



The ruling against him came as a result of "a European arrest warrant system run amok", he claimed.



He said: "There was no consideration during this entire process as to the merit of the allegations made against me, no consideration or examination of even the complaints made in Sweden and of course we have always known we would appeal."



It is not known whether a hearing at the High Court will take place before the Easter break.

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