Stockholm: A Swedish appeal court Wednesday upheld a detention order for the founder of whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks Julian Assange, in connection with an investigation into alleged rape.
The ruling means that prosecutors can seek assistance from other countries to have him arrested, including via the international crime fighting organisation Interpol.
A lower court last week approved the detention order after a request by a Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny, who said Assange is suspected of "rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion".
The detention request was made in order "to interrogate him. So far, we have not been able to meet with him to accomplish the interrogations," Ny said.
The appeal court said its assessment of some of the alleged crimes differed from the lower court`s, but there were sufficient grounds for Assange`s arrest.
The investigation followed complaints made by two women in August, when Assange was in Sweden for the publication of thousands of leaked Pentagon war papers relating to the Afghan conflict.
Assange has, via his Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig and London-based counsel Mark Stephens, rejected the allegations.
Hurtig told local media he planned to appeal to the Supreme Court - as instructed by Assange.