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WikiLeaks head on most-wanted list

1 December 2010 05:30 am - 24     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Interpol, at the request of a Swedish court looking into alleged sex crimes from earlier this year, has put WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on its most-wanted listed.

The Stockholm Criminal Court two weeks ago issued an international arrest warrant for Assange on probable cause, saying he is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force in August incidents.

Sweden asked Interpol, the international police organization, to post a "Red Notice" after a judge approved a motion to bring him into custody.

The "Red Notice" is not an international arrest warrant. It is an advisory and request, issued to 188 member countries "to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition," according to Interpol.

The Swedish court ordered Assange, 39, formally arrested in his absence, which requires Swedish authorities anywhere in the world to detain Assange if they come across him. Sweden's director of prosecutions, Marianne Ny, had requested the arrest-in-absence.

"The background is that he has to be heard in this investigation and we haven't been able to get a hold of him to question him," Ny said at the time.

Assange faces five counts that appear related to two incidents, according to the request Ny filed with the court.

He faces one count of rape and one count of sexual molestation related to an instance around August 17 in Enkoping, just outside Stockholm. He then faces two counts of sexual molestation between August 13 and 18 in Stockholm, and one count of illegal use of force between August 13 and 14, also in the capital.

Assange could be sentenced to at least two years in prison if convicted, according to the document.

Assange, an Australian, was rejected for permanent residency in Sweden in October. Swedish Migration Board official Gunilla Wikstrom said his application failed to fulfill all the requirements but declined to give details.

On Monday, Ecuador invited Assange to come to Quito to discuss documents leaked on the site relating to Ecuador and other Latin American countries, according to a statement from the country's foreign ministry.

The ministry also offered to process a request for residency "in accordance with the country's current laws."

In a November news release, Assange's British lawyer said the sex-crime charges stem from consensual sexual relationships his client had with two women.

"Only after the women became aware of each other's relationships with Mr. Assange did they make their allegations against him," lawyer Mark Stephens said in the statement.

Stephens also said neither he nor Assange "have ever received a single written word, at any time, in any form, from Swedish authorities on the Swedish investigation against our client."

The media has been the only way they've learned substantial information about the investigation, Stephens said. He called it "a clear contravention to Article 6 of the European Convention, which states that every accused must be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him."

Swedish prosecutors announced over the summer they were investigating Assange in two separate cases of rape and molestation. Ny said then there was reason to believe a crime had been committed, but that more investigation was necessary before she could make a final decision.

Assange has maintained he is innocent, telling the Arabic-language television network Al-Jazeera the accusations were a "smear campaign."


Source: CNN

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  Comments - 24

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  • Fair N Square Wednesday, 01 December 2010 08:43 AM

    I thought Osama was the most wanted, so he takes 2nd place hmmmm.

    Tells a story

    MagodisThuma Thursday, 02 December 2010 11:28 AM

    Mr Julian...I would like to offer you permanent residency at my place...
    I'm with a laptop & a dongle !

    KD Wednesday, 01 December 2010 08:02 PM

    Where are my media freedom buddies? Not paid enough to protest against this warrant?

    Karu Wednesday, 01 December 2010 03:13 PM

    Yes, they will not hesitate to hang the messenger!

    Prasanna Wednesday, 01 December 2010 01:11 PM

    What he did was not media freedom, its stealing privet information

    fayad Wednesday, 01 December 2010 10:34 AM

    very true

    xlntgson Wednesday, 01 December 2010 10:23 AM

    Wikileaks didn't produce expected results, China spammed the cable network!"North Korea is no more a spoilt child of Chinese. The Chinese would attack South Korea if the North is threatened"

    Jade Wednesday, 01 December 2010 09:37 AM

    But they wobble in Afagan istan.. as once they did with poor Vietnam ...

    ddj Wednesday, 01 December 2010 09:36 AM

    wiki great or not?

    Prasanna Wednesday, 01 December 2010 09:13 AM

    Message is clear. Don't dare cross the line with US & Allies..

    Sagara Wednesday, 01 December 2010 08:56 AM

    Accusing Assange is a suspected rapist and DDoS attack on Wikileaks are perfect shames!!! The empire is standing naked as Hugo Chavez say.

    tn Wednesday, 01 December 2010 08:50 AM

    Are U equaling SL to wiki who leaks?

    demon Wednesday, 01 December 2010 05:39 AM

    defa a trick of USA ...

    Ruwan Wednesday, 01 December 2010 08:38 AM

    100% agree,
    thats how the world work,
    grow-up ppl

    hb Wednesday, 01 December 2010 08:08 AM

    The west condemned Sri Lanka when SF was prosecuted on tender process violations. What about this one?

    Saman/South Africa Wednesday, 01 December 2010 08:03 AM

    Till he leaks He was not on that list,

    Nilantha Wednesday, 01 December 2010 07:40 AM

    No wonder, he will be in the most wanted list....
    Same old story

    Faqi Wednesday, 01 December 2010 06:54 AM

    This is the beginning of the end of Julian Assange, not only are the Swedish Police looking for him for alleged rape charges, the US State department is filing action against him for a list of offenses. If caught he may never see daylight ever again. The US house republican leader stated that: "They are engaged in terrorist activity. What they're doing is clearly aiding and abetting terrorist groups. Once Assange is caught, he would face criminal charges.

    Gayan Samarasekara Wednesday, 01 December 2010 06:35 AM

    Julian Assange -- one of the bravest men of our times. The charges this way or some other way were obviously expected.

    Fayad Wednesday, 01 December 2010 06:06 AM

    don't worry Julian Assange when the truth is exposed falsehood will perish.

    Ruwan Wednesday, 01 December 2010 06:04 AM

    see what the whole world is trying to do to this fellow just bcos he leaked some info...guys, grow-up, this is the world we live in

    Matahari Wednesday, 01 December 2010 06:02 AM

    Cheap Swedish tactics, doing Kopikade Ensina's job.

    NilanthaJ Wednesday, 01 December 2010 05:47 AM

    As usual he will be in the most wanted list...
    Same old story

    Nan Wednesday, 01 December 2010 05:46 AM

    so founder of wikipedia is a pedophile and founder of wiki leaks is a rapist? guess sri lanka isn't the only country without media freedom


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