WikiLeaks founder in Sweden court arrest warrant

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November 18, 2010 20:00

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange attending a UN Human Rights review of the United States of America at the UN office in Geneva on 5 November, 2010. Photo - Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Who: Julian Assange.

What: A Swedish court ordered the detention of the founder of whistle blowing website WikiLeaks, on suspicion of rape and sexual molestation.

Where: The district court issued an international warrant for the 39-year-old’s arrest in Stockholm, Sweden.

When: The court announced the decision on Thursday, 18 November.

Why: The controversial development came almost a month after WikiLeaks released classified military documents about the war in Iraq detailing torture, civilian deaths and human rights abuses blamed on U.S. and Iraqi forces. “I request the District Court of Stockholm to detain Mr Assange in his absence, suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion,” Marianne Ny, the Swedish director of prosecutions, said in a statement in English. The WikiLeaks founder has previously called the allegations against him baseless and said that he had earlier been warned by Australian intelligence that he could face a campaign to discredit him.

How: WikiLeaks angered the Pentagon by leaking nearly 400,000 classified U.S. files on the Iraq war, that showed 15,000 more Iraqi civilian deaths than thought. Assange has hinted this month he may seek political asylum in Switzerland.

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