Skip to main content

Supreme Court dismisses Assange appeal

Julian Assange could be sent back to Sweden soon to face sex crime allegations, the Supreme Court decided this week.

Seven judges in Britain's top court unanimously dismissed the WikiLeaks founder's request to reopen his appeal against extradition over alleged sex crimes, adding that the move was "without merit," the BBC reported.

Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange over rape and sexual assault allegations made in 2010 by two female former WikiLeaks volunteers. Assange, known to most as the leader of a group that has leaked secret government documents since its founding in 2006, claims the sex was consensual and that the allegations against him were politically motivated, BBC reported.

The former computer hacker's lawyers argued that some of the Supreme Court judges based their final decision on legalities not argued in court, therefore preventing the defence team from having "a fair opportunity to be heard," according to the Assange's appeal.

After the court rejected his argument by a 5-2 majority two weeks ago, Assange filed an appeal in the allotted 14 days, continuing his 18-month legal battle.

Australian-born Assange was already denied an extradition appeal in November 2011, when a British lower court upheld the ruling that he must be expelled to Sweden for questioning regarding the sexual misconduct allegations.

The court has provided a two-week grace period before extradition proceedings can start, at which point officials have 10 days to fly Assange to Sweden, the BBC said. He could still fight his case in front of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, but only has until 28 June to do so.

Assange has been under house arrest in England since December 2010.