Sweden drops rape warrant for WikiLeaks founder

Sweden has withdrawn an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who had been accused of rape and molestation.

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Sweden has withdrawn an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who had been accused of rape and molestation. The warrant was cancelled just hours after it was issued on Friday night.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said on its website that the chief prosecutor, Eva Finné, “came to the decision that Julian Assange could no longer be suspected of rape” on Saturday afternoon.

“When Ms Finné became in charge of the matter on Saturday, she had more information than the first prosecutor had on Friday night,” it said on the website.

On Saturday before the warrant was cancelled, WikiLeaks posted a message of support on its official blog.

“We are deeply concerned about the seriousness of these allegations. We, the people behind WikiLeaks, think highly of Julian and he has hour full support,” said the blog.

It added that Assange was focusing on clearing his name. BBC News said the Assange’s current whereabouts are “unclear”.

On its Twitter page on Saturday, WikiLeaks also attributed a message to Assange, which said: “The charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.”

The Swedish Prosecution Authority said that it would not be issuing any further information.

It added: “Eva Finné will thoroughly consider all facts in the matter and continue to lead the investigation the forthcoming week.”

This is not the first time that Assange has had trouble with the authorities. In May, he had his passport temporarily confiscated by immigration officials when he arrived at Melbourne Airport. 

Last week, the Swedish Pirate Party agreed with Wikileaks to host several new servers and provide the site bandwidth for free.

Earlier this month, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates announced that US information security practices will be reviewed following the leak of tens of thousands of classified war documents that were published by Wikileaks in July.

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