Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/24/julian_assange_wikileaks_extradition_hearing/

Court OK's Assange Sweden extradition, given 7 days to appeal

WikiLeaker-in-chief to face questions in sex assault investigation

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Law, 24th February 2011 11:30 GMT

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to be extradited to Sweden, following a ruling by a judge at South East London's Belmarsh magistrates court this morning.

Assange has seven days to bring an appeal against the extradition to Sweden to face questions regarding two alleged sexual assaults in the country.

Judge Howard Riddle said the allegations of rape and sexual molestation brought by two women were extraditable offences.

"I have specifically considered whether the physical or mental condition of the defendant is such that it would be unjust or oppressive to extradite him," he said in summing up.

"In fact as I am satisfied that extradition is compatible with the defendant’s Convention rights, I must order that Mr Assange be extradited to Sweden."

Defence attorneys had argued that if Assange was extradited, he could end up being forcibly transferred to the US, detained at Guantanamo Bay, and eventually executed.

Assange, 39, said he would appeal against the High Court ruling, according to the BBC.

The WikiLeaks founder has claimed that the allegations brought against him were politically motivated.

Assange has denied any wrongdoing, and said sexual relations with both women were entirely consensual.

Swedish prosecutors have repeatedly requested that Australia-born Assange make himself available for questioning. They issued a warrant for the WikiLeaker's arrest but haven't filed charges in the case.

The full judgment is available here. ®