Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Assange loses extradition court battle 14 days to apply to reopen case

Assange loses extraditon court battle, 14 days to apply to reopen case. ( REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

Source: Russia Today

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lost his marathon court battle in UK Supreme Court. The judge has granted him 14 days to make an application to reopen the extradition case.

Assange was not present in court to hear the ruling.

The judge ruled that the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued against Assange for his extradition to Sweden was legal under the Vienna Convention.

Assange’s legal team asked for a 14-day extension to reopen the case on the basis that they thought the ruling would be made under the UK legal system and were not adequately prepared.

Under UK law an EAW can only be issued by a judge and therefore Assange’s lawyers had argued the extradition order against him was invalid as it was made by a Swedish prosecutor.

The judges ruled that under the Vienna Convention the prosecutor was a “judicial authority.”

As a result the whistleblower may be sent to Sweden, where he has been accused of sexual assault and rape by two former WikiLeaks volunteers.

Assange says the allegations are baseless and are founded on political motivations after his website released thousands of diplomatic cables and documents sparking outcry from world governments.

There are fears that Assange will eventually be transferred to the US, where he would join Private Bradley Manning, who is currently facing court-martial for handing over classified documents to the whistleblower’s website

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