WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has criticised the European arrest warrant system following today's court ruling that he can be extradited to Sweden, which could happen within 10 days.
Judge Howard Riddle ruled, at Belmarsh magistrates court in London, that Assange can be extradited to Sweden where he faces rape and sexual assault charges. His decision was that the judge who issued the arrest warrant in Sweden had every right to do so.
Assange told the media later that the ruling was a 'rubber-stamp process' and that the “European arrest warrant system" had "run amok”.
“The scrutiny of the European arrest warrant system needs to begin now, it cannot be the case that filling two pages with someone's name and a suspicion – not a charge – can lead to their extradition to one of 26 European nations,” Assange said.
The Wikileaks founder's legal team plans on filing an appeal against the ruling. If they lose the appeal, Assange will be extradited to Sweden. From there he could face further extradition to the US, where he is still under investigation for his part in the Wikileaks affair.
Assange's lawyer, Mark Stephens stressed that the episode was not yet over, "We are still hopeful that the matter can be resolved in this country," he said. "We remain optimistic of our chances on appeal."