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Judge: Assange must go to Sweden for trial

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — who rocked the U.S. government by publishing thousands of secret diplomatic memos — must be extradited to Sweden to face sex crimes allegations, a British judge ruled on Thursday.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — who rocked the U.S. government by publishing thousands of secret diplomatic memos — must be extradited to Sweden to face sex crimes allegations, a British judge ruled on Thursday.

Assange’s lawyers said immediately they planned to appeal against the decision to London’s High Court, and it could still be months before the legal process in Britain reaches an end.

The 39-year-old Australian computer expert remains in Britain on bail in the meantime.

Swedish prosecutors want to question Assange about allegations of sexual misconduc (which he denies) made by two WikiLeaks volunteers during his time in Sweden last August.

Judge Howard Riddle dismissed Assange’s arguments that he could not get a fair trial in Sweden and said extradition to Sweden would not violate his human rights.

“I must order Mr. Assange be extradited to Sweden,” he told London’s top-security Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court in a case covered by scores of reporters from around the world.

Assange, smartly dressed in dark suit and tie, showed no emotion as Riddle gave his verdict.
Speaking to reporters, Assange attacked the fast-track European arrest warrant used to seek his extradition and called the court hearing a “rubber-stamping process.”

“There was no consideration during this entire process as to the merits of the allegations made against me,” he said.

 
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