UPDATE: Julian Assange will remain in Great Britain for at least a while longer, after the British Supreme Court decided on Friday that it will hear the WikiLeaks founder's appeal against extradition to Sweden.
The Associated Press reports that a three-judge panel granted Assange a two-day hearing that will begin February 1. That means there is no chance that he can be extradited to Stockholm until at least early next year. The court issued a statement saying that it made the decision to hear Assange's case "given the great public importance of the issue raised, which is whether a prosecutor is a judicial authority."
Dec. 5: Two British judges on Monday threw Julian Assange a major lifeline that, at the least, will allow the WikiLeaks founder to remain in Britain for a few weeks longer.
The Washington Post reports that the judges granted Assange the right to petition the Supreme Court to take up his fight against extradition to Sweden over allegations of sex crimes. The judges who issued the ruling said that Assange’s case raised a question of “general public importance,” but one reportedly told the courtroom that the chances the high court will take up the case “may be extraordinarily slim.”
The ruling gives Assange 14 days to lodge a written appeal to the Supreme Court, which will then decide whether it will take up the case. If the court had denied Assange the chance to lodge his appeal, he would have been extradited to Sweden within 10 days to face questions over his alleged crimes that include rape.
If the Supreme Court does take up the case, it is expected to into the start of next year.
Wednesday, Nov. 2: Julian Assange on Wednesday lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden to face questions about sexual misconduct allegations.
The ruling was the latest chapter in the WikiLeaks founder’s ongoing legal battle to avoid being sent to the Scandinavian nation to be questioned by police over the allegations, which he claims are politically motivated by opponents of his anti-secrecy group.
The Washington Post reports that Assange now has 14 days to appeal the ruling. If the court takes up the appeal, the case could drag on well into next year. If it does not, Assange could be extradited within 10 days.
A British judged had previously ruled that Assange should return to Sweden to face the allegations of sexual molestation, unlawful coercion, and rape made by two of his organization’s volunteers in August of last year.
Assange has said that the sex was consensual, and his legal team has argued that the arrest warrant is flawed, according to the Associated Press.
The WikiLeaks founder has not been charged in either case.