Julian Assange may be denying allegations of rape and sexual assault but his defence hasn’t convinced Belmarsh magistrates court who have ordered that he be extradited to Sweden.
The WikiLeaks founder’s legal bods have said that they will appeal the decision, but if this fails Mr Assange could be packed off to Sweden in 10 days.
The hearing saw chief magistrate Howard Riddle dismiss each of the defence’s arguments against Assange’s extradition. A bid by Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, who claimed she had the power to issue a European arrest warrant, was also ruled to be legit and valid by the judge, despite Assange’s team claiming otherwise.
They also tried to argue that allegations against Assange were not offences in English law and not extraditable. However, these again were knocked back by the judge, who went one further and reprimanded Assange’s lawyer for making a deliberate attempt to mislead the court.
He also had a few choice words for Assange claiming that he had attempted to avoid the Swedish justice system before he left the country.
The 39-year-old Australian is accused of sexually assaulting one woman and raping another during a week-long visit to Stockholm in August. However, he’s been trying to stay in Britain claiming appearing in a Swedish court will breach his human rights.
Assange has been fighting extradition since he was arrested and bailed in December. He has consistently denied the allegations, made by two women in August last year.