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23 August 2010

No rape charge against WikiLeaks founder

By New Statesman

Swedish authorities on Saturday clarified that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has neither been charged with rape nor was due to be arrested.

Local newspaper Expressen had reported that it received confirmation late Friday from the Stockholm prosecutor’s office that Assange, a citizen of Australia, has been accused in Sweden of rape and molestation.

The international media picked up the story to generate about 1,200 online reports that received more than one million hits.

WikiLeaks had recently published thousands of US military documents related to the war in Afghanistan and announced that it would publish another 15,000 documents soon.

“We were warned to expect ‘dirty tricks.’ Now we have the first one,” the Twitter page of the whistleblower site said on Saturday.

Some of WikiLeaks’ computer servers are currently based in Sweden. Assange has sought the protection of Sweden’s relatively liberal press laws to promote worldwide leaking of whistleblower information through his website.

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