The founder of Wikileaks’ appeal to avoid extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes has been dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Julian Assange has lost his battle against being extradited to Sweden over alleged sex crimes. The court has granted Assange’s lawyers 14 days to present their arguments against the ruling.
The Wikileaks founder’s appeal against extradition had also failed previously before the Senior District Judge and the Divisional Court.
Julian Assange himself was not at the hearing with reports suggesting he was stuck in traffic. There is no legal requirement for him to be present.
Assange founded Wikileaks, a media website which acts as a portal for worldwide news leaks and pushes a stated purpose of creating open governance. The website published classified documents about American involvement in the Iraq and Afghan wars.
A European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for the Appellant was issued by the Swedish Prosecution Authority on 2 December 2010 which set out allegations of four offences of unlawful coercion and sexual misconduct including rape. The EAW was certified by the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency under the Extradition Act 2003.
On 7 December 2010 Assange turned himself into a police station in England and was taken into custody. He appealed a February 2011 decision by courts in England to extradite him to Sweden.
Assange had challenged the validity of the EAW on the grounds that it had been issued by a public prosecutor rather than a judge, using article 6 in the Framework Decision as support.
It was determined in November 2011 by the High Court to uphold the decision to extradite Assange, however, the High Court confirmed that the case of Assange should be considered by the Supreme Court because a point of general public importance was involved.
The Supreme Court, however, rejected the claim by a 5-2 majority of justices.
The justices decided that a public prosecutor was in fact classified as "judicial authority" and therefore the EAW was valid.
The court, however, granted Assange’s lawyers 14 days to present their arguments who claim that important issues in which the justices based their decision were not brought up during the hearing.
Julian Assange’s lawyers are also able to start the process of appealing the judgement to the European Court of human rights in Strasbourg.
The Crown Prosecution Service cannot start extraditing Julian Assange until 13 June.
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