UK Supreme Court says Assange cannot appeal his extradition to US

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UK Supreme Court says Assange cannot appeal his extradition to US

LONDON: Britain’s Supreme Court on Monday said it has rejected WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s latest appeal to block extradition to the US.

The announcement came as a blow to Mr Assange, after the High Court said he would be able to appeal the lower court’s decision that would allow his extradition. However, he still has not exhausted all his legal options in British courts, his lawyers said.

The Supreme Court said in a statement on Monday that it had refused permission to appeal because “the application does not raise a cogent issue of law.”

Mr Assange’s legal team indicated that the decision on extradition would now be sent back to the lower court that had originally assessed the US request, which would then lay the final decision before UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Ms. Patel will then decide whether to order or refuse the extradition, but Mr. Assange’s defense team will also be entitled to have their say before a decision is issued. Ms Patel’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A US Justice Department spokesperson also declined to comment.

Importantly, the Birnberg Peirce Law Firm, which is representing Assange in the case, said it had not exhausted its ability to appeal in relation to “other important issues previously raised” in the lower court’s ruling.

The firm said it was sorry ,That this opportunity has not been taken to consider troubling circumstances in which the Requesting State may provide caveat guarantees after the conclusion of a full evidence hearing.

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The firm’s statement referred to the initial rationale for the appeal, which changed the timing of when the United States assured that Mr. Assange would be treated humanely in a US prison if found guilty.

“In Mr. Assange’s case, the court found that there was a real risk of prohibited treatment following his extradition,” the firm said.

Mr Assange was charged in the United States under the Espionage Act in connection with obtaining and publishing secret government documents centered around US actions during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They were published on WikiLeaks in 2010 after being leaked by former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

If Mr. Assange is extradited to the United States and faces trial, the case could raise serious First Amendment issues. His prosecution has worried press freedom advocates.

Charlie Savage Contributed to reporting.

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