Signs point to Assange abandoning appeal bid

By Jerome Taylor

Julian Assange. Photo / APN
Julian Assange. Photo / APN

Julian Assange has hired a Swedish public relations company in an indication that the WikiLeaks founder is ready to abandon his appeal against his extradition.

The 40-year-old campaigner, wanted for questioning in Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault, has taken on Stockholm-based Ullman PR.

Two weeks ago the High Court in Britain upheld the decision by a magistrate judge to deport Assange at the request of Swedish prosecutors.

He has been given three weeks to appeal to the Supreme Court but sources close to him say he is reluctant to do so because of the cost involved.

Instead, some followers are advising Assange to save what money he has left for a potentially lengthy legal battle in Sweden. The reluctance to continue fighting the extradition in Britain is partly down to the limited legal avenues open to him.

An appeal to the Supreme Court would be granted only if the judiciary were convinced there were grounds on a point of law of public interest.

His defence lawyers are unable to ask for an appeal based on the evidence Swedish prosecutors have put forward, which Assange claims is part of a wider conspiracy to silence WikiLeaks and engineer his deportation to the United States.

The US has yet to file charges against Assange, although a grand jury has been tasked with deciding whether he or WikiLeaks broke any US laws through their leaks.

- Independent

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