Extradition fight: Who is Julian Assange, why is Sweden seeking him?

A British court is hearing a final appeal from Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks whistleblower site, to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sex crime allegations. Mr. Assange has made many powerful enemies, including the US government. Here are four questions about the man and the case. 

1. Who is Julian Assange?

Andrew Winnin/Reuters
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Supreme Court in Westminster, on the second day of his extradition appeal, in London, Thursday. Assange appealed to Britain's Supreme Court not to extradite him to Sweden over accusations of sex crimes.

Born in Queensland, Australia, Julian Assange was first accused of computer hacking as early as 1995. A talented mathematician, Mr. Assange was adept at cracking codes and encrypting material. He was able to avoid prison in Australia on the condition he not re-offend, reports the BBC.  

But hacking has become what Assange is known for. He created the organization WikiLeaks in 2006 with a community of contributors and volunteers across the Internet. His work focused on bringing “important news and information to the public” through innovative, secure, and anonymous information leaks, and by providing sources to journalists, according to the organization’s website.  

"[To] keep our sources safe, we have had to spread assets, encrypt everything, and move telecommunications and people around the world to activate protective laws in different national jurisdictions," Assange told the BBC in 2011. 

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