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Judges: WikiLeaks' Assange can appeal against extradition

Updated at 5:45 a.m. ET: Judges decide WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can appeal  to the U.K.'s Supreme Court against lower court rulings that he should be extradited to Sweden over allegations of rape and molestation, The Associated Press reports.

Published at 4:20 a.m. ET: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to ask British judges Monday to let him continue his legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crimes allegations.

Assange will ask high court judges to let him take his case to Britain's Supreme Court. If they refuse the request, he could be extradited to Stockholm within 10 days.

The 40-year-old Australian behind the anti-secrecy website has spent almost a year on bail in Britain fighting extradition for questioning over claims of rape and molestation made by two Swedish women. Assange, who has been living in Britain since his arrest here in December last year, denies wrongdoing.

Two courts have ruled against him so far.

For his case to be considered by Britain's Supreme Court, Assange's lawyers must persuade two High Court judges that it raises a question of "general public importance."

Assange spent nine days in London's Wandsworth prison after his arrest last year. He was freed a week before Christmas on bail and has since been living at the country house of a wealthy supporter in eastern England.

His arrest came shortly after WikiLeaks published thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that included unflattering views of world leaders and candid assessments of security threats.

Assange says the allegations are politically motivated.

The application to take the case to the Supreme Court rests on two legal questions: Is the warrant for Assange's arrest valid, and can he be considered an "accused" person as required under extradition laws when no decision has been taken over whether he will be prosecuted.

If his appeal fails, Assange could still take his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, further prolonging his stay in Britain.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.