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Wikileaks founder wanted in Sweden
Julian Assange denies allegations of sexual assault, saying they are 'dirty tricks'.
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2010 14:14 GMT
Wikileaks founder Assange has been at odds
with the US [Photo: Esther Dyson, via Flickr]

Swedish authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, following a sexual assault complaint aginst him.

Assange denied the allegationson Saturday, saying via Twitter that the charges "are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing".

The prosecutor's office in Stockholm said the arrest warrant was issued for the 39-year-old Australian national late on Friday.

"We can confirm that he's wanted. He was charged last night - the allegation is suspected rape," Karin Rosander, director of communications at the National Prosecutor's office, said

"One is rape and one is molestation," she said, without giving details.

'Dirty tricks'

After Swedish tabloid Expressen,first published reports that an arrest warrant had been issued for Assange, Wikileaks responded on Twittersaying: "We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks.' Now we have the first one."

"No one here has been contacted by Swedish police. Needless to say this will prove hugely distracting."

Assange's organisation has caused much controversy recently with the release of 75,000 classified US military documentscontaining information surrounding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US government rejected the release of the documents, saying the website had "blood on its hands" for naming people who had helped its military in opposition to groups such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and ordered Wikileaks to return the files.

Wikileaks, meanwhile, has said that it is plans to reveal more of the remaining 15,000 classified documents it holds, possibly this month or next month.

Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan, in London, said: "The two alleged victims in this are in their twenties.

"One is supposed to have happened last weekend in Stockholm and another last Tuesday in Sweden but in a separate town."

Assange was in Sweden last week partly to apply for a publishing certificate to maintain the advantages it receives from the country's whistle-blowing protection laws. Wikileaks also has many of its servers in Sweden.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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