Sweden to issue warrant for Assange in rape case

The Australian is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion in an investigation that stems from his encounters with two women during a visit to Sweden in August.

He has denied the allegations and insisted his sexual relations with the women were consensual. His lawyers lashed out at Swedish investigators, saying Assange had offered to be questioned before he left Sweden and later in Britain, in person or by phone, videoconferencing, e-mail, or to make a sworn statement.

‘Baseless’

“All of these offers have been flatly refused by a prosecutor who is abusing her powers by insisting that he return to Sweden,” said Mark Stephens, Assange’s British lawyer. He added that the allegations were “false and without basis.”

Assange, 39, a veteran computer hacker, founded WikiLeaks in 2006 and it has published almost 5,00,000 secret US documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Governments and some of Assange’s own colleagues have denounced him for releasing Afghan documents that contained the names of Afghan intelligence sources for Nato forces, saying that could place the sources’ lives at risk.

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