Assange applies to re-open extradition appeal: court

LONDON — WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange has asked Britain’s Supreme Court to re-open his appeal against extradition to Sweden, a court spokesman said on Tuesday.

“Lawyers for Julian Assange have lodged papers to apply to re-open the appeal, as expected, for the reasons set out in the hearing,” the spokesman said, adding that judges would now consider the application.

The highly unusual move comes after the court last month rejected Assange’s last-ditch appeal against extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about allegations of rape and sexual assault.

The court, Britain’s highest, handed down its decision in the 18-month legal marathon after rejecting Assange’s argument that the Swedish prosecutor who issued the arrest warrant for him was not entitled to do so.

But in a surprise move, Assange’s lawyer Dinah Rose asked for 14 days to consider whether to apply to re-open the case, on the grounds that the judgment referred to material not mentioned during the appeal hearing in February.

The Supreme Court judges can reject Assange’s challenge, ask for written submissions or hold a new hearing.

The court spokesman said he could not give a timescale for any decision.

Assange, an Australian former computer hacker, has been fighting deportation since his arrest in London in December 2010 on a European arrest warrant issued by Sweden.

The Supreme Court is his final avenue of appeal under British law, after two lower courts ruled he should be sent to Sweden for questioning.

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