Assange: Probe May Kill My Bid for Swedish Residency Says charges hurt site's chance of gaining safe haven By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Sep 3, 2010 5:40 AM CDT 8 comments Comments WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, seen here in Stockholm, Sweden, says the charges against him are part of a smear campaign. (AP Photo/SCANPIX, Bertil Ericson, File) (Newser) – Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says the reopened rape charges against him are part of a "legal circus" that could kill his chances of obtaining Swedish residency—which could in turn prevent him from gaining protection for Wikileaks. Assange says the accusations made against him by two Swedish women are "baseless and disturbing" and part of an attempt to smear him, the Telegraph reports. Swedish law offers strong protection to whistle-blowers, but Wikileaks will need an editor with Swedish residency to qualify for protection. Assange says a replacement will be named if necessary. "Today, I also had a case filed against me in the US on a wholly unrelated manner," Assange told reporters, though he didn't elaborate, and the US Department of Justice says it knows of no such case.