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WikiLeaks' Assange Has Two Weeks To Appeal Extradition Decision

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last December.
Geoff Caddick
AFP/Getty Images
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last December.

While Britain's Supreme Court today said that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden to face accusations of sex assault, he was also given two weeks to appeal that ruling.

Assange's lawyer said that she needs that time to probe whether the court's decision was based in part on matters that weren't argued during the legal proceedings.

As the BBC's Dominic Casciani reports, "if this is so, the Supreme Court will find itself in the extraordinary position of having ruled against Mr. Assange on a point that his lawyers did not have a chance to consider or respond to. If true, that would mean the judgement is arguably unfair — and that is why in two weeks' time the court could be in the unprecedented position of having to reopen the case."

According to The Guardian, "the full judgment [issued today] makes several references to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties ... which was not discussed in court."

Even as Assange mounts another appeal in Britain, he can also appeal the decision to the European court of human rights, the Guardian says.

Assange, 40, has been wanted in Sweden since 2010. Two Swedish women, as the AP recounts, have "accused him of molestation and rape following a visit to the country." Assange has denied any wrongdoing and alleges that he's being persecuted because of WikiLeaks' high-profile leaking of classified information.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.