Assange gets surprise chance to fight another day (+video)
Julian Assange's lawyer won a two-week reprieve to review today's decision by Britain's Supreme Court to deport the WikiLeaks boss to Sweden.
Britain’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should be deported to Sweden to face questioning on sex-crime allegations, but Mr. Assange’s lawyer then won a surprise 14-day reprieve that has sent the legal fight into uncharted territory.
Assange shot to international notoriety in 2010 when his website published hundreds of thousands of classified US documents, including sensitive diplomatic cables. As he rose in prominence that year, two Swedish women alleged he sexually molested them. Swedish authorities want to question Assange, who maintains the sex was consensual and alleges the allegations are politically motivated.
In a 5-2 decision, the British court dealt a blow to Assange’s nearly two-year legal effort to stave off extradition to Sweden. But after the verdict was delivered, Assange’s lawyer Dinah Rose asked for two weeks to review the decision, arguing that it hinged on a legal point not addressed by either side in a February court hearing.
The court granted the unusual request, giving Assange’s team the chance to apply to reopen the case. Such a turn of events has only occurred once before at the top of the British court system, and for different reasons, meaning the effort to move Assange to Sweden just got more uncertain and protracted.