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The founder of WikiLeaks has staved off extradition from Britain to Sweden on sex crimes charges with a thin legal victory, but he will likely face Swedish prosecutors in the new year. Julian Assange, who has already been ordered extradited, had the majority of his requests for an appeal with the country's Supreme Court rejected by London's High Court on Monday. But the court's decision preserved some narrow grounds for him to argue before the Supreme Court. "The question to be considered by the Supreme Court was whether the Swedish public prosecutor qualified as a judicial authority," reports The New York Times. The appeal will keep Assange under house arrest in Britain a little longer, but he's generally expected to eventually have to face charges of  sexual molestation, unlawful coercion and rape by two Swedish women. According to The Washington Post, "judges said Assange’s lawyers had raised a legal question of 'general public importance,' which is necessary to win an audience at the Supreme Court. But [High Court judge John] Thomas added that the appeal’s 'chances of success may be extraordinarily slim.' " Still, The Post notes, the decision means Assange is "likely to spend a second Christmas living under curfew at a supporter’s country estate in eastern England." And that's a victory in itself, because the estate owned by journalist Vaughan Smith is really nice.

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