WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, wanted in the US for the alleged leak of classified documents related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is expected to make submissions to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel after losing an appeal against his extradition to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
Lawyers for the 50-year-old had argued he should not be taken to the US due to a real and ‘oppressive’ risk of suicide and won the right to appeal to the highest court of Great Britain. However, on Monday, the Supreme Court found that his petition did not “raise an arguable point of law”. The case will now go to Priti Patel for approval for her extradition to the United States, with four weeks for her lawyers to make representations directly to the Minister.
“We regret that the opportunity has not been taken to consider the troubling circumstances in which requesting states may provide qualified guarantees after the conclusion of a full evidentiary hearing,” read a statement from his colleague. law firm Birnberg Peirce.
“In the case of Mr. Assange, the court found that there was a real risk of prohibited treatment if his extradition was pursued,” the spokesperson said.
As part of the next steps in the legal process, the case will now be referred to Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, whose function will then be limited to referring the extradition decision to the Home Secretary. The Minister then decides whether to order or refuse extradition to the United States on a number of legal bases. The defense has the right to make submissions to the Minister of the Interior within four weeks, before she makes a decision.
In the long legal battle, the High Court in London had overturned a lower court’s ruling that Assange could not be extradited due to concerns about his mental health, noting that the US government’s “solemn undertakings” were sufficient to ensure humane treatment. In January, Assange had obtained from the High Court in London the right to appeal against this decision to the Supreme Court, on the basis of a point of law “of general public importance”.
The certified point for potential consideration by the Supreme Court was: “Under what circumstances can an appellate court receive assurances from a requesting state that were not before the trial court in an appeal proceeding? extradition”.
A three-judge panel of the Supreme Court reviewed the claim on paper and denied leave to appeal on the grounds that “the claim does not raise an arguable point of law.”
Assange’s legal team pointed out that Assange was successful at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on the matter appealed by the US government to the High Court. No appeal to the High Court has yet been lodged by him in relation to the other “significant issues” previously raised at magistrates court level, indicating that a separate appeals process could still be considered in relation to further other points.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Assange, who remains in Belmarsh prison in south-east London, is to marry his fiancée, lawyer Stella Moris, with whom he has two children. According to British media, Moris met Assange while living in exile at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and will now be married in a small ceremony in the prison attended by witnesses and security officers. .
The WikiLeaks activist has been in prison since 2019, having been taken from the Ecuadorian embassy by police before being arrested for breaching his bail conditions. He had been living in the embassy since 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face sex offense allegations, which he always denied and which were eventually dropped.
The US indictment against him claims Assange conspired to crack a scrambled password, known as a “hash”, on a classified US Department of Defense computer. Assange denies the accusation and maintains there is no evidence that anyone’s safety was endangered.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)