WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange to be Extradited to Sweden on Rape and Sexual Assault Allegations
LONDON -- Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost his battle to fight extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges after a British judge ordered Assange to submit to the Swedish investigation process.
He will now face questioning on rape and sexual assault allegations made by two women in a Swedish court, unless his legal team successfully fight the appeal in a higher court.
If they fail, Assange could be taken to Sweden within 10 days. Any attempt to be subsequently extradited to the U.S. must be agreed by the British government, the court said in its judgment.
The Wikileaks founder heard the news in court in London thursday morning.
In his summary at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court, Judge Howard Riddle said that Assange had been "avoiding interrogation" by the Swedish justice system and that he judged Assange fit to face questioning of an investigation that was "at an early stage."
"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," the Judge said. "In fact as I am satisfied that the extradition is compatible with the defendant's [European] Convention rights, I must order that Mr. Assange be extradited to Sweden.