Europe

Wikileaks' Assange faces international arrest warrant

  • 20 November 2010
  • From the section Europe
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at a UN panel, Geneva (5 November 2010)
Image caption Mr Assange denies all the allegations, which stem from a visit to Sweden in August

Sweden has issued an international arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a rape case.

He is wanted on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion - allegations he denies. They stem from a visit to Sweden in August.

Mr Assange, an Australian who does not live in Sweden, says the allegations are part of a smear campaign.

Wikileaks has published confidential material relating to US military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A Stockholm prosecutor started an investigation in the summer, but the case was dropped by the chief prosecutor a day later.

In September, Sweden's Director of Prosecution, Marianne Ny, reopened the investigation, but did not request Mr Assange's detention at the time.

Ms Ny now says Mr Assange, 39, needs to be questioned.

When the allegations first emerged, Mr Assange said their appearance - at a time when Wikileaks had been criticised for leaking Afghan war documents - was "deeply disturbing".

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