Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has had his supreme court appeal against his extradition to the USA refused for not raising ‘an arguable point of law’.
The decision is a major blow to his hopes to avoid extradition.
The Australian born publisher, 50, is wanted in the US over the publication of thousands of classified documents in 2010 and 2011. His lawyers said he had not ruled out launching a final appeal.
The case will now go back down to District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, the original judge who assessed the US’s extradition request.
After which, Home Secretary Priti Patel is then expected to make a final decision. If she approves the extradition, that is the stage when Assange could make his fresh challenge, said his lawyers Birnberg Peirce.
Assange faces an 18-count indictment from the US government, accusing him of conspiring to hack into US military databases to acquire sensitive secret information relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, which was then published on the Wikileaks website.
The Wikileaks documents revealed how the US military had killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents during the war in Afghanistan, while leaked Iraq war files showed 66,000 civilians had been killed, and prisoners tortured, by Iraqi forces.
The US says the leaks broke the law and endangered lives, but Assange says the case is politically motivated.