Photo by Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images.
Barring eleventh-hour intervention from the European Court of Human Rights, Julian Assange will be extradited to Sweden next month where he is wanted for questioning about allegations of rape, sexual assault and unlawful coercion.
The WikiLeaks founder has been fighting extradition from the United Kingdom since December 2010, but his avenues to avoid being sent to Sweden appear all but exhausted after the British Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed Assange's argument that the warrant that led to his arrest was flawed.
Two lower courts in Britain had already ruled in favor of extradition, but the Supreme Court agreed to review the case in December 2011 because of "the great public importance of the issue raised." At a short hearing Wednesday, the court announced its 5-2 vote to dismiss.
The Washington Post reports that Assange's lawyers will have two weeks to appeal the decision and, assuming they do, the Human Rights court would have two additional weeks to decide whether to take the case. If they do, the ongoing appellate marathon could continue for weeks or even months; if they don't, the anti-secrecy advocate would be turned over to Swedish authorities ASAP.
Assange's appeal was based on a legal technicality. His legal team claimed the international arrest warrant, which was issued by a Swedish prosecutor, was invalid in the U.K., where warrants must be issued by a judge or a court.