Leading article: An opportunity for Julian Assange to practise what he preaches

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The Independent Online

After yesterday's High Court verdict, Julian Assange and his legal team have 14 days to lodge an appeal against his extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault. But rather than fighting, the WikiLeaks founder would do better to practise what he has so uncompromisingly preached.

That the two British judges ruled against the first appeal on all four counts is not the issue. Neither – contrary to Mr Assange's assertions yesterday – are the procedural minutiae of European arrest warrants. Even his claims that the case against him is a politically motivated conspiracy are irrelevant.

For a self-appointed champion of global openness to baulk at openness of his own – and manoeuvre so hard to avoid it – risks charges of hypocrisy. If Mr Assange is to live up to his own rhetoric, he should go to Sweden and face his accusers.