Britain’s Supreme Court has rejected Julian Assange’s last appeal as “without merit,” ending any possibility of him challenging his extradition to Sweden in a British court. Sweden has had an outstanding arrest warrant against Assange since last year over sex crime allegations.
This doesn’t necessarily mean Assange will be extradited, however, as he may still turn to the European Court of Human Rights to hear his case within the next two weeks. If they agree, British courts would presumably have to accept holding off on his extradition until they rule.
The court had ruled at the end of may that the warrant, issued by the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office, was valid. This is traditionally how warrants are handled in Sweden and some other European nations, and British courts feared rejecting it could do serious harm to extradition agreements.
The actual transfer to Sweden isn’t the issue, rather it is what will happen once Assange is in their custody. Analysts have been speculating that the move is an effort to get Assange to a country from which to be extradited to the United States, as Britain would never consider sending Assange, a citizen of a commonwealth nation, to the US, where officials have condemned him as a “terrorist” and called for his execution.