Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. /
24 February 2011

Julian Assange loses extradition appeal

WikiLeaks founder has seven days to appeal again, otherwise he will be extradited to Sweden in ten d

By Susannah Butter

Judgment in the Julian Assange case was delivered this morning at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court in south London by the chief magistrate, Howard Riddle, following a two-and-a-half-day extradition hearing earlier this month.

In Sweden, Assange faces three allegations of sexual assault and one allegation of rape.

The 39-year-old WikiLeaks founder denies the allegations, which were made in August last year, and has been fighting arrest and extradition since his arrest and subsequent bail in December.

He says that the claims are politically motivated because of the work of WikiLeaks.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

Assange’s legal team argued that the European arrest warrant (EAW) issued by Sweden was invalid.

The lawyers claimed that because Assange has not been charged with any offence, the alleged assaults would not be legitimate extraditable offences and he would not be given a fair trial in Sweden.

The Swedish prosecutor, who has been represented in court by the British Crown Prosecution Service, maintained that, despite the lack of charge, Assange is wanted for prosecution, rather than merely for questioning, which makes the warrant valid.

There is no bail system in Sweden, so Assange would be detained in custody pending possible trial or release.

Assange fears that being sent to Sweden will lead to him being extradited to the United States on charges relating to WikiLeaks’s release of leaked US embassy cables.

If Sweden wanted to do this, it would have to ask the UK’s permission for the onward extradition.