Sweden seeks WikiLeaks founder arrest in rape case

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was accused of rape and molestation in a Swedish arrest warrant that turned the spotlight onto the nomadic former hacker.

Stockholm: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
was accused of rape and molestation in a Swedish arrest
warrant today that turned the spotlight onto the nomadic
former hacker who`s infuriated governments worldwide with his
self-proclaimed mission to put secrets into the public eye.

The accusation was labelled a dirty trick by the
39-year-old Australian and his group, who are preparing to
release the next batch of classified documents from the Afghan
war.

Swedish prosecutors urged Assange, whose whereabouts were
unclear, to turn himself in to police to face questioning in
two separate cases involving suspicions of rape and
molestation, respectively.

They issued a warrant for his arrest, a move that doesn`t
necessarily mean that criminal charges will be filed.

Investigators want him in custody because they believe there
is a risk he will obstruct the probe by destroying evidence,
said Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution
Authority.

"The next step is that we interrogate him," she said.
"Then we`ll see what happens."

Assange has no permanent address and travels frequently _
jumping from one friend`s place to the next. He disappears
from public view for months at a time, only to reappear in the
full glare of the cameras at packed news conferences to
discuss his site`s latest disclosure.

PTI