Sunday 18 February 2018

Britain’s Highest Court rejects Julian Assange appeal move

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

THE UK’S highest court has rejected a move by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to reopen his appeal against his extradition to Sweden where he faces sex crime allegations.

The announcement was made by the Supreme Court, which said in a statement the required period for extradition "shall not commence until the 14th day after today".

Seven Supreme Court justices unanimously dismissed the move as being "without merit".

On May 30 the Supreme Court ruled by a 5-2 majority that Assange's extradition was lawful and could go ahead. But his QC Dinah Rose immediately told the court that Assange was considering an application for his case to be reopened on the basis that there had been a flawed hearing.

The Swedish authorities want Assange, 40, to answer accusations of raping one woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm in August 2010 while on a visit to give a lecture.

Assange, whose WikiLeaks website has published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses, claims the sex was consensual and that the allegations against him are politically motivated.

The majority of Supreme Court justices rejected his argument that the European arrest warrant (EAW) issued against him by Sweden was "invalid and unenforceable".

Following the ruling on May 30, the Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it had "dismissed the application made by Ms Dinah Rose QC, counsel for Mr Julian Assange, seeking to re-open their appeal".

The seven justices had considered Assange's written application and their reasons for dismissing it "have been agreed unanimously".

The statement from the court said: "In addition, the court has ordered that, with the agreement of the respondent and pursuant to section 36(3)(b) of the Extradition Act 2003, the required period for extradition shall not commence until the 14th day after today."

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