WikiLeaks founder attacks European law

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has criticised the European extradition warrants in response to the decision that he should be extradited to Sweden to face sex offence charges.

Addressing reporters outside court he said: "What we saw today at Belmarsh was a rubber stamping process that comes as no surprise but is none the less wrong. A rubber stamping process that is a result of a European arrest warrant system run amok."

He went on: "Ninety-five percent of European arrest warrants are successful, that is something that Fair Trials International has rightly condemned and it is right that there is a review of UK extradition procedures in June to deal with some of those abuses of the European arrest warrant in law and for abuses related to other countries such as the United States."

WikiLeaks has released thousands of confidential US military cables on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and on US diplomatic efforts worldwide - which has deeply angered US officials.

The computer expert will appeal against the ruling at the High Court, his barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC told the court in legal argument.

Announcing his decision at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south-east London, District Judge Howard Riddle said extraditing Assange to Sweden would not breach his human rights.

He also disagreed with defence lawyers' claims that what Assange is accused of doing would not actually amount to rape in this country.

Judge Riddle dismissed the argument that the whistleblower would not receive a fair trial, despite a certain amount of negative publicity surrounding the case.

This publicity includes allegedly damaging comments said to have been made by the Swedish prime minister about Assange.

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