In a small victory for the WikiLeaks founder, Britain's Supreme Court agreed to hear Julian Assange's appeal against extradition to Sweden on rape allegations. With the appeal scheduled for February 1, that means he won't be headed to the Nordic country until at least next year, the Associated Press reports:
In a statement, the court said it had "decided that seven justices will hear the appeal given the great public importance of the issue raised, which is whether a prosecutor is a judicial authority."
Assange's legal team argue that police and prosecutors -- like the Swedish prosecutor seeking to bring Assange back to the country for questioning -- are not a proper judicial authority, and shouldn't have the right to order extraditions.
Still, though he can enjoy Christmas and New Year's at his estate in Eastern England, he is running out of options, notes the Associated Press. "Assange appealed to the High Court, and will now take his legal battle to the country's highest legal authority, the Supreme Court. The hearing will be his last avenue in Britain to avoid extradition, though lawyers have said they could consider a further appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg." The court previously approved Assange's extradition. He denies all allegations of molestation or rape.