Julian Assange’s lawyers are now likely to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.Julian Assange’s legal battle to remain in the UK has ended after the Supreme Court dismissed his lawyer’s application to re-open the appeal overnight.
The application, made by Ms Dinah Rose QC, counsel for the Wikileaks founder, was rejected unanimously by the panel of seven British judges who heard the initial appeal in February.
In a statement issued overnight, the Supreme Court confirmed that the written application has been rejected but that the extradition period would not be allowed to commence until the 14th day after today.
The Supreme Court’s judgment, published initially on 30 May and now upheld rejected the cyber activist’s claim that the European Arrrest Warrant issued in Sweden in 2010 was invalid and unenforceable.
Mr Assange, who was placed under house arrest in Britain more than 500 days ago, is accused of sexual assault against two women in Sweden. He has not been charged and denies the allegations.
His lawyers moved two weeks ago to set aside the judgment and re-open the appeal on the grounds that his counsel had not been given a fair opportunity to address a legal point argued in court and that they had been prevented from making counter submissions. The court then agreed to provide them with 14 days to challenge the decision.
However according to the Court’s statement, the application is “without merit and it is dismissed”.
However the judges signaled that one point made by his lawyers, that paragraph 83 of the judgment refers to offences of which Mr Assange “stands charged” is in fact “not accurate” and the paperwork would be “corrected to read “offences in respect of which his extradition is sought”.
Mr Assange’s lawyers have long insisted that the European arrest warrant was invalid because it was issued by a prosecutor and not a judge or a court, as is required in the UK while prosecutors argue that differing procedures are allowable under the internationally agreed frameworks.
It is now believed to be likely that his lawyers will take his case to the European Court of Human Rights, potentially holding up the extradition process again.
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