Britain’s highest court ruled on Wednesday that theWikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, should be deported to Sweden to face allegations of sexual abuse there, but Mr. Assange’s lawyers won an immediate stay of at least two weeks before British officials can initiate the final steps to hand him over to Stockholm.

In what had been billed as the culmination of an 18-month legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-2 vote to reject Mr. Assange’s argument against extradition. The decision was delivered in a court hearing lasting barely 10 minutes by Nicholas Phillips, the 74-year-old president of the court, in one of his last major decisions before retirement this fall.