Assange to be extradited to Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be extradited to Sweden to respond to accusations of rape and sexual assault, a UK judge has ruled. Assange must now appear in a Swedish court to face the charges. He was arrested in Britain in December 2010 and had made serious legal efforts to fight extradition to Sweden. District Judge Howard Riddle said at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south London on Thursday that the extradition would not violate Mr. Assange's human rights. Assange dismissed the three charges of rape and sexual assault, saying the accusations were “politically motivated” since WikiLeaks has published information on some very sensitive political issues. The WikiLeaks founder also said that the extradition ruling was the result of a "European arrest warrant system run amok.” He stated, "What we saw today at Belmarsh was a rubber-stamping process. It comes as no surprise, but is nonetheless wrong. There was no consideration during this entire process as to the merits of the allegations made against me, no consideration or examination of even the complaints made in Sweden." "We have always known that in all likelihood we would have to appeal," he added. Judge Riddle rejected the assertion of Assange's lawyer that he would not face a fair trial in Sweden since Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt had previously said that Julian Assange is "public enemy number one" in Sweden. "The defense refers to the alleged denigration of the defendant by the Swedish prime minister. For this reason and other reasons it is said Mr. Assange will not receive a fair trial. I don't accept this was the purpose of the comment or the effect," the judge said