The UK Supreme Court has refused to hear WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s appeal against his extradition to the US.
The request for an appeal was denied as Assange’s application did not raise “an arguable point of law”, according to a court spokesperson.
The 50-year-old Wikileaks founder has been wanted in the US since the early 2010s for his role in publishing thousands of classified documents on the WikiLeaks website.
Assange faces an 18-count indictment from the US government that accuses him of conspiring with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into US military databases to acquire sensitive secret information and publishing the unredacted names of sources in Iraq and Afghanistan that provided information to the US.
According to the indictment, Assange’s actions risked serious harm to US national security and put those sources at a grave and imminent risk of serious physical harm.
The UK High Court approved the extradition to the US at the end of last year. That decision overruled an earlier ruling made at the start of 2021 at a UK district court, which denied the US request based on the court’s perception that it posed too great a risk to Assange’s wellbeing.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is now expected to make a final decision on whether the extradition will go ahead, WikiLeaks said.
If Patel approves the extradition, Assange will be able to issue one last challenge against the extradition as no appeal to the High Court has been filed as yet.
Assange is currently held in UK prison as he fights the extradition case. Prior to this, he sought asylum at Ecuador’s embassy in London for almost 10 years until he was arrested in 2019, when his asylum was withdrawn.