Wikileaks founder Assange denied residency in Sweden

Julian Assange Mr Assange founded the Wikileaks whistle-blowing website in 2006

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The founder of the Wikileaks website, Julian Assange, has been denied residency in Sweden, the country's migration board officials say.

They declined to give the reason, saying it was confidential.

Mr Assange, an Australian national, had hoped to create a base for Wikileaks in the Nordic country due to its laws protecting whistle-blowers.

The rejection comes ahead of the expected publication of some 400,000 Iraq war documents on Wikileaks.

The US military has already assembled a 120-member team to prepare for the publication of the documents which are thought to concern battle activity, Iraqi security forces and civilian casualties.

Wikileaks' release in July of thousands of documents on the war in Afghanistan prompted US military officials to warn that the whistleblower website might cause the deaths of US soldiers and Afghan civilians because some of the documents contained the names of locals who had helped coalition forces.

'Smear campaign'

"We have decided not to grant him (Mr Assange) a residence permit," Sweden's Migration Board official Gunilla Wikstroem told the AFP news agency.

"He did not fulfil the requirements," she added without giving any further details.

Mr Assange applied for a residence permit on 18 August.

He is currently being investigated in Sweden over an alleged sex crime.

Mr Assange denies any wrongdoing and says the allegations are part of a smear campaign by opponents of his whistle-blowing website.

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