Julian Assange slams extradition ruling
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today criticised the European arrest warrant system after a judge ruled he should be extradited to Sweden to face sex offence charges.
The 39-year-old Australian is accused of sexually assaulting one woman and raping another during a week-long visit to Stockholm in August.
Speaking outside Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south-east London today following the ruling, he said he had "always known" he would have to appeal against the decision.
The ruling against him came as a result of "a European arrest warrant system run amok", he claimed.
He said: "There was no consideration during this entire process as to the merit of the allegations made against me, no consideration or examination of even the complaints made in Sweden and of course we have always known we would appeal."
Launching into a criticism of the system, he said 95% of European arrest warrants were successful and he welcomed a pending review of UK extradition procedures due in June.
This, he hoped, would "deal with some of those abuses of European arrest warrants in law and for abuses relating to other countries such as the United States".
He also reiterated his wish that his own case be used to shed light on "abuses" of the system.
But he denied saying the CIA or the Pentagon were lurking behind the allegations against him.
"I have never stated who or what was behind those initial allegations other than to say they were simply untrue," he said.
He went on to rail against his bail terms, demanding: "Why is it that I, a non-profit free speech activist, am subject to a 360 000 US dollar bail?
"Why is it that I am kept under electronic house arrest when I have not been charged in any country, when I have never been a fugitive?"
His speech was greeted with a lone cry of "justice for Julian" from one of his supporters and a smattering of applause.
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party is the right choice for you
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Jason Derulo falling over in epic fashion, the event's most talked about moment, wasn't what it seemed
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
- 4 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach