Barry Pollack, who represents Assange in the United States, called the Supreme Court decision “extremely disappointing” and said Assange “will continue … fighting his extradition to the United States to face criminal charges for publishing truthful and newsworthy information.”
U.S. prosecutors allege that Assange helped hack into classified information and published thousands of pages of military records and diplomatic cables about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, putting lives in danger.
Assange counters that he was acting as a journalist and publisher in seeking out and disseminating information on controversial U.S. activities abroad.
He fought extradition on the grounds that his prosecution was political and that incarceration in a U.S. prison would amount to torture. British courts ultimately ruled in favor of extradition, after assurances from American authorities that he would be treated humanely. As part of that litigation, the United States said Assange might be able to serve any prison sentence in his native Australia.
Britain’s home secretary has to rule on the extradition. Assange can also appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which guides British court decisions. And he can revive other claims denied in lower court — that the prosecution is political, that it violates free-speech rights, that it comes too long after the alleged crime, and that American authorities acted unlawfully.
“All the appeal proceedings thus far have been about … one point,” said Nick Vamos, former head of extradition for the Crown Prosecution Service. “Now … he can … launch his appeal on all the grounds he lost the first time around.”’’