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Assange loses UK Supreme Court appeal against extradition

But it’s not over yet – the Supreme Court puts a two-week stay on the ruling to allow another defence argument.

Julian Assange speaking in London in February: the WikiLeaks founder this morning lost an appeal against an extradition warrant to Sweden.
Julian Assange speaking in London in February: the WikiLeaks founder this morning lost an appeal against an extradition warrant to Sweden.
Image: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

THE UNITED KINGDOM’S Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seeking to block his extradition to Sweden on charges of sexual assault.

The court ruled 5-2 against Assange’s claim that the Swedish public prosecutor was not a ‘judicial authority’, meaning it did not have the legal power to seek the extradition of a person from one EU country to another.

The court ruled that public prosecutions fell under the definition of a judicial authority under the Vienna Convention, which governs the terms under which countries can enter into international agreements, and particularly under its French translation.

The order does not take immediate effect, however: the Supreme Court granted a two-week stay on its ruling after Assange’s lawyers asked for extra time to consider the court’s ruling.

They claimed the arguments in relation to the Vienna Convention had not been made during the Supreme Court’s original hearings, and that Assange therefore did not have the opportunity to respond to such arguments.

The court granted a two-week stay so that Assange’s team could study the court’s written ruling and decide if it wanted to have the case re-opened.

Assange has previously claimed the attempts to have him extradited to Sweden are a front for a potential onward extradition to the United States, which has opposed WikiLeaks’ publication of confidential military logs and diplomatic cables.

Read: Julian Assange: ‘I may be biggest media victim since the McCanns’

More: Julian Assange plans to run for Australian Senate

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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