WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange has lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden for further questioning on four allegations of sexual misconduct and third degree rape.

Sitting at the royal courts of justice the appeals court dismissed all four separate arguments made by Assange’s legal team, thus committing him to extradition to Sweden, should the Supreme Court refuse to review the appeal.

Assange’s team has fourteen days to request a review. Assange’s bail conditions requiring him to live at Ellingham hall, home of Captain Vaughn Smith, owner of the Front Line Club, has been continued.

Assange’s team argued that the law that triggered the extradition process was not issued by a competent authority in Sweden, that three of the four accusations were not crimes in the UK, hence not subject to double criminality, and that the fourth, third degree rape/indecent assault was not a ‘framework’ offence, that the law (ie a European arrest warrant) was being used as a fishing expedition without a crime, and that the issuing of the law was disproportionate when questioning could have occurred by phone or in the UK.

The court dismissed all four arguments, but reasons were not given in court. The full judgement is available on the royal court of appeal website – case co/1925/2011.

Assange was committed to extradition in February of this year, and has been resident at Ellingham Hall since December 2010. His team have not yet issued a statement as to whether they will seek a review. They have fourteen days to do so, and it would be made by a review in open court.

By the end of November, Assange will have spent a year either in remand or bailed to house curfew, with an electronic tag – the maximum amount of time he could have been jailed were he to be charged and convicted on the accusations made.

The hearing on the right to appeal will be heard in twenty one days. If successful, the case then goes to the Supreme Court — ie into 2012.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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