Since 2010, Julian Assange has been battling extradition to Stockholm where he faces arrest following sex allegations made by two different Swedish women.
He denies the claims and is currently living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, which has granted him asylum.
Assange's attempts to avoid travelling to Sweden for questioning have already been thrown out by several appeal courts. The next key date is on February 25th, when his legal team will submit its case to Sweden's Supreme Court – the highest in the country. But – in theory – the case could go on for much longer than that.
The Local quizzed Per Samuelson, Julian Assange's key lawyer in Sweden, on the various possibilities.
Where are we up to with Julian Assange's legal battle?
Last year we said we would take his case to the Supreme Court and we were granted an extension to pull our case together, which runs out on February 25th. We are putting together all our arguments to explain why the Supreme Court should grant leave to appeal, which means that the court will agree to consider the case. Only a few cases get granted by this court but in my opinion we will be successful, because our arguments contain several interesting questions.
But what happens if his case doesn't get taken up by Sweden's Supreme Court?
If an appeal is not granted then this case is over. But we are actually entitled to apply once again to the district court in Stockholm, so the case could end up going through the Swedish courts all over again.
So are you suggesting he could end up staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for several more years while the case gets reconsidered by the Swedish courts?
Yes in theory it could reach a deadlock which will not be solved unless one or several of the parties involved start doing something different. This could go on indefinitely, there is no time limit. But in the end I am convinced that [Assange] will prevail and become a free man who is also declared innocent in Sweden.
What are you hoping will happen next?
A change could mean the Swedish prosecutors dropping the case or the UK helping Julian Assange to get safe passage to Ecuador. It is possible for the UK to change its opinion. It could decide that protecting Assange costs too much so to help him instead. Ecuador promised him asylum in August. I hope that he will be granted free passage to Ecuador.
How is Julian Assange doing?
"Life goes on" is what he says, but if course it is a hard time for him. He has not taken one step outdoors. He has not even leaned out of the window. But he is a strong person and he is convinced that he must go through this to avoid being extradited to the United States.