LONDON -- Monday's ruling by Britain's highest court denied Julian Assange , the WikiLeaks founder, permission to appeal against a decision to extradite Assange to the United States for spying charges.
The court refused to grant permission because it "didn’t raise an arguable legal point of law."
Assange has been trying for years to avoid a U.S. trial on a number of charges related WikiLeaks' publication more than a decade back of a large trove classified documents.
An initial rejection by a British court judge of an extradition request from the United States was based on Assange's likelihood to die in harsh U.S. prison conditions. Later, U.S. authorities assured Assange that he wouldn't be subject to the extreme treatment his lawyers claimed would threaten his mental and physical health.
The High Court reaffirmed the decision of the lower court in December. It stated that Assange's humane treatment was guaranteed by the U.S. promises.
Assange's options are limited by Monday's news, but his defense team could still try to challenge the original judge's findings or take his case before the European Court of Human Rights.
Barry Pollack, Assange’s U.S.-based lawyer said Monday that it was "extremely disappointing” that the British Supreme Court would not hear the appeal.
"Mr. He said that Assange would continue to fight for his extradition to the United States in order to face criminal charges of publishing truthful and newsworthy material.
American prosecutors claim that Assange illegally assisted Chelsea Manning, U.S. Army intelligence analyst, to steal classified diplomatic cables. WikiLeaks published the files later on, putting lives at stake.
Lawyers and supporters of Assange claim that Assange was acting as a journalist. Assange is entitled to First Amendment freedom of speech protections for publishing documents that expose U.S. military wrongdoings in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Assange, 50 years old, is currently being held at London's Belmarsh Prison. He was originally arrested in 2019 for failing to pay bail in a separate legal battle. To avoid being extradited to Sweden, Assange spent seven years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
Sweden ended its investigation into sex crime in November 2019, owing to the lack of time.