Assange facing extradition to Sweden

Julian Assange
Julian Assange

WIKILEAKS founder and former Northern Rivers resident Julian Assange has moved a step closer to extradition to Sweden to face sex charges after losing an appeal in a the Supreme Court in London.

UK media is reporting Mr Assange has been given 14 days by the court to put an application to reopen the case, after five of the seven justices hearing the case found against his extradition appeal.

Mr Assange was not present for the verdict, apparently because he was stuck in traffic, The Guardian reports.

A statement released by the Supreme Court says it granted the two week stay after Mr Assange's lawyer, Dinah Rose QC, suggested the decision appeared to be based on a legal point that was not raised during the hearing.

Swedish authorities had been trying to extradite Mr Assange on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant, introduced to make extraditions between European countries easier by removing the need to provide evidence.

Mr Assange's legal team has argued extradition on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant was not possible because it was issued by a prosecutor instead of a judge or a court.

However, Ms Rose now says the justices in the majority verdict appear to have relied on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which had not been mentioned during the case and which neither she nor the Swedish prosecutors had been given the opportunity to make submissions on.

The Guardian reports Australian journalist and Assange supporter John Pilger has said, if the bid to reopen the case fails, the next step would be to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Topics:  julian assange supreme court sweden wikileaks

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