Julian Assange Loses Appeal Against Extradition
Assange's appeal argued that the arrest warrant issued in Sweden was invalid because it was issued by a public prosecutor who, under European law, could not be considered a "competent judicial authority." In a 161 page document, the Supreme Court deliberated over the definition of a "judicial authority," but ultimately rejected Assange's defense team's argument that a public prosecutor cannot fall into that category.
Not all seems to be lost, however. The BBC reports that Mr. Assange has 14 days to challenge the ruling, an action which his defense team has already undertaken.
Dinah Rose QC, one of Assange's attorneys, said she will challenge the court's ruling since it was based on a 1969 convention on how extradition treaties should be implemented. This, Rose argued, was not discussed during the hearing.
The Supreme Court issued a statement on this matter:
"Ms. Rose suggested that the majority of the court appear to have based their decision on the interpretation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, on which no argument was heard and no opportunity of making submission was given."
After receiving her application, the Supreme Court will decide whether to re-open the appeal for further submissions.
Assange was not able to attend the hearing as he was stuck in traffic. In response, he tweeted, "We got the the news not hoped for."
Readers will remember that Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden on allegations of sexual assault, rape and unlawful coercion. These allegations (no charges have been made yet) were presented by two WikiLeaks female volunteers. Assange has denied these accusations and said that the sex did occur, but was consensual.
According to The Washington Post, Assange and his defense team are fighting extradition because they believe that these accusations are political, and are being used as a means to extradite Assange back to Sweden and ultimately, the United States, where he will face charges under the Espionage Act for the leaking of diplomatic cables.