Assange: Rape Charge 'Without Basis'

Sweden issues arrest warrant
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 21, 2010 6:52 AM CDT
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gives a seminar at the Swedish Trade Union Confederation headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday Aug. 14, 2010.   (Bertil Ericson / SCANPIX)
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(Newser) – A Swedish tabloid reports today that an arrest warrant has been issued for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on suspicion of rape, and officials said they could confirm "media reports." Assange addressed the report on WikiLeaks' Twitter page, saying "the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing."

The prosecutor's office in Stockholm issued a brief statement saying it "confirms media reports that a foreign citizen has been arrested in absentia" but didn't name Assange. "The arrest refers to two separate events, one complaint of molestation and one complaint of rape," the statement said. Assange was in Sweden last week partly to apply for a publishing certificate to make sure the website, which has servers in Sweden, can take full advantage of Swedish laws protecting whistle-blowers.

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