The UK Supreme Court has said it will consider an appeal by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange against his extradition to Sweden.
Britain’s highest court said seven judges would hear the case in February.
Mr Assange, who remains on conditional bail in the UK, is wanted by Swedish authorities for questioning over allegations of sexual assault.
The High Court previously approved his extradition – but Mr Assange argues that decision was unlawful.
‘Great public importance’
A Supreme Court spokesman said the judges had agreed to hear the case “given the great public importance of the issue raised, which is whether a prosecutor is a judicial authority”.
He said: “A panel of three Supreme Court Justices – Lord Hope, Lord Mance and Lord Dyson – has considered the written submissions of the parties; this is the court’s usual practice for considering applications for permission to appeal.
“The Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal and a hearing has been scheduled for two days, beginning on 1 February 2012.”
The Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement: “If, after the Supreme Court has heard the case, it dismisses Mr Assange’s appeal, then his only further remedy is to apply immediately to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which will respond within 14 days.
“If it confirms that it does not agree to take the case then that is an end of the matter.”
The CPS said if the court in Strasbourg did decline to take the case then Mr Assange would be extradited to Sweden as soon as practicable.