WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denied permission to appeal against extradition to US

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By AP & Euronews
FILE - In this Wednesday May 1, 2019 file photo buildings are reflected in the window as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is taken from court in London.
FILE - In this Wednesday May 1, 2019 file photo buildings are reflected in the window as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is taken from court in London.   -   Copyright  Matt Dunham/AP Photo, File   -  

Britain's top court refused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange permission to appeal against a decision to extradite him to the US to face spying charges.

The court said it refused because the case “didn’t raise an arguable point of law.”

The decision likely exhausts Assange's years of efforts to avoid a trial in the US related to charges related to WikiLeaks' publication of classified documents more than a decade ago.

WikiLeaks wrote in a statement on Twitter that the case would now move to home secretary Priti Patel to authorise the extradition. They added that he's facing a 175-year sentence in the United States.

Assange could still seek to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

A British district court judge had initially rejected a US extradition request on the grounds that Assange was likely to kill himself if held under harsh US prison conditions.

In December, the High Court overturned the lower court’s decision, saying that the US assurances that he wouldn't face severe treatment were enough to guarantee Assange would be treated humanely.

Barry Pollack, Assange's US-based lawyer, said Monday that it was “extremely disappointing” that Britain's Supreme Court is unwilling to hear the appeal.

“Mr Assange will continue the legal process fighting his extradition to the United States to face criminal charges for publishing truthful and newsworthy information,” he said.

Assange has been held at London's Belmarsh prison since 2019 after spending seven years living in the Ecuadorian Embassy there.