British Court Postpones Decision on Sweden's Bid to Extradite Assange

A British judge Friday postponed until Feb. 24 a decision on whether to extradite WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange to Sweden to face rape allegations.

Judge Howard Riddle ordered Assange to return to Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in southeast London in just under two weeks' time, after hearing closing arguments from Swedish prosecutors and Assange's defense team.

He was expected to give a decision on the extradition request, which was triggered by allegations made by two women following a visit by Assange to Stockholm in August.

Assange's attorney Geoffrey Robertson argued in court that he should not be extradited to face the rape allegations because no actual charges had been laid against him.

But Clare Montgomery, representing Swedish authorities, said that she intended to prosecute Assange if he was returned to the country to be investigated by police.

Both sides argued strongly over whether the two women who accused Assange of raping them consented to intercourse.

Assange was to remain on bail but his reporting time to police was changed from the mornings to between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to allow him to attend meetings, The Guardian reported.

Assange sparked controversy last year when he published hundreds of thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables on his controversial website.