Lawyers representing the WikiLeaks
founder, Julian Assange, have lodged papers to appeal against his extradition
from Britain to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.
The high court in London confirmed
it had received documents to challenge last week’s ruling in London.
No date has been set for a hearing.
The 39-year-old Australian had
always planned to appeal if he failed to escape the European arrest warrant
(EAW) at the first attempt.
He faces being sent to Sweden within 10 days
if his appeal is unsuccessful.
Last week Assange dismissed the
decision to extradite him as a “rubber-stamping process”.
“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,” he said.
He has been fighting extradition
since he was arrested and bailed in December, and has consistently denied the
allegations, made by two women in August last year.
Assange’s lawyers argued he would
not receive a fair trial in Sweden.
They said the warrant was invalid
because he had not been charged with any offence and the alleged assaults were
not grounds for extradition.
Assange fears removal to Sweden
will make it easier for Washington to extradite him to the US on possible
charges relating to WikiLeaks’s release of the US embassy cables.
The US has been investigating the WikLeaks website,
although no charges have been laid. Sweden would have to ask the UK for any
Assange faces four allegations, the
most serious that, during a visit to Stockholm, he had sex with a woman, Miss
B, while she was sleeping, without a condom and without her consent. Three
counts of sexual assault are alleged by another woman, Miss A.
If found guilty of the rape charge
he could face up to four years in prison.