Wikileaks Assange's detention order upheld by Sweden

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

A Swedish court has rejected Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's appeal against a detention order in a rape case.

The appeals court upheld an earlier court order, which allows investigators to bring the 39-year old Australian into custody for questioning.

Mr Assange, who is believed to be in Britain, denies the allegations, saying they are part of a smear campaign.

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

"The Svea Court of Appeal has today decided to reject Julian Assange's appeal against the Stockholm district court decision to remand him," the court said in a statement.

"The appeals court has to a certain extent reached different conclusions than the lower court, but considers that there is still reason for the warrant," it said.

Mr Assange is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, which stem from a visit to Sweden in August.

A Stockholm prosecutor started an investigation shortly afterwards 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.

An international arrest warrant was issued for Mr Assange on 20 November following the detention order decision by the Swedish district court two days earlier.

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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