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WikiLeaks Founder Can Be Extradited to Sweden, UK High Court Rules

BERTIL ERICSON/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who bedeviled the U.S. government by publishing a massive trove of formerly classified Pentagon and State Department documents, can be extradited from England to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, the United Kingdom's Supreme Court ruled five-to-two Wednesday.

In reading the decision, Lord Phillips, the president of the court, said: "The majority has concluded that the Swedish public prosecutor was a judicial authority within the meaning of both the framework decision and the extradition act.  It follows that the request for Mr. Assange's extradition has been lawfully made and his appeal against extradition is accordingly dismissed."

Assange was appealing last November’s decision by District Judge Howard Riddle that the 40-year-old could not escape prosecution in Sweden based on allegations of two women involving "non-consensual, coerced" sex.

According to Assange, the sex was consensual and he was being prosecuted for political reasons.

His final recourse is appealing to the European Court of Human Rights, which might only temporarily hold off his extradition.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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