Assange Appeals Against Third Extradition Decision

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is once again appealing against a UK court decision to extradite him to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.

Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court had concluded that the European arrest warrant for his extradition was valid. However, Assange’s defence team now argues that this decision was based on legal reasons that weren’t raised in the hearing, preventing the defence team from making a counter-submission.

This is the third UK court that has made a decision to extradite Assange and the third time he has appealed against it.

Accusations

Assange was arrested in London in December 2010 on accusations of rape, sexual molestation and coercion of two female WikiLeaks volunteers during a visit to Stockholm in August 2010. He denied all wrongdoing and has been fighting extradition ever since.

Assange lost an appeal against his exile at the Belmarsh magistrates’ court in February 2011. He appealed once again in the High Court in July 2011, but the judge found the allegations were too serious to be dismissed. Assange’s final petition reached the Supreme Court in December last year.

After losing the appeal for the third time, the defence team is now trying to overturn the decision of the court on a technicality, reports Reuters.

The arrest followed the largest leak of classified documents in US history, obtained by military analyst Bradley Manning and released to the public by WikiLeaks. Assange and his supporters believe the extradition is politically motivated and suspect it will lead to a further move for him to face trial in the US.

However, the delaying tactics of the defence team seem to be working well. “If the case is reopened it could take many weeks or even months again,” Carl Gardner, a barrister and writer of the Head of Legal blog,  told TechWeekEurope.

Assange can also apply to the European Court of Human Rights if he believes his trial was unfair.

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Max Smolaks

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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