Assange appeal request rejected by UK court

Decision to deny appeal effectively ends WikiLeaks founder's recourse to law in UK but case could go to Europe.

    Assange appeal request rejected by UK court
    Assange could still take his case to the European Court of Human Rights [Reuters]

    Britain's highest court has rejected an application by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes, ending his last legal recourse in the UK courts.
     
    In a statement, the Supreme Court said on Thursday that all seven judges had agreed that the application made on behalf of the self-styled anti-secrecy campaigner was without merit. 

    Two weeks ago the court rejected his argument that a European arrest warrant for extradition was invalid, but his
    lawyers had argued that some of the judges had reached their decision based on a legal point that had not been argued in court.

    "The Court has ordered that, with the agreement of the respondent ... the required period for extradition shall not commence until the 14th day after today," it added.

    Assange, who denies any wrongdoing in Sweden, could still take his case to the European Court of Human Rights, a move which could hold up the extradition. 

    Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange over allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two female former
    WikiLeaks volunteers.

    He has been fighting a legal battle against extradition since his arrest in Britain in December 2010.

    The former computer hacker gained international prominence in 2010 when WikiLeaks began releasing secret video footage and thousands of US diplomatic cables, many of them about Iraq and Afghanistan, in the largest leak of classified documents in US history. 

    While a hero to many anti-censorship campaigners, Washington was furious about Assange's release of the documents.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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