Assange Gets Last Chance to Appeal Extradition

High Court rules that he can appeal to Supreme Court
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2011 12:32 PM CST
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks is seen walking into the Houses of Parliament in London, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

(Newser) – Julian Assange will be allowed to make one last appeal against his extradition to Sweden, this time to Britain's Supreme Court. The High Court today rejected most of the grounds on which Assange and his lawyers had sought permission, but ultimately consented on the basis of one legal technicality, the New York Times reports. If the two judges had ruled against him, Assange could have been booted from the country—where he has spent his house arrest in a friend's mansion—within days.

Typically, the Supreme Court only hears cases related to the constitution or ones of importance to the general public. The High Court judges found that one point of law in the case, related to the Swedish public prosecutor looking to extradite Assange, does have a broader public interest. The Supreme Court will consider whether the public prosecutor is qualified as a judicial authority. If he is not—as Assange's lawyers argue—he therefore does not have the authority to sign arrest warrants. Assange's team now has 14 days to submit its grounds for an appeal to the Supreme Court, which will ultimately decide whether to grant one.

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